*Warning: some material may not be suitable for young children.
Coming up this August 15th and 16th, Wonder Promotions and Events and CrossFit Northlake will present our 2nd Annual Goddess Games to benefit Justice Ministries. Justice Ministries is a local nonprofit organization committed to combating sex trafficking and the sexual exploitation of women, with a focus on rescue and housing. There are only about 600 bed spaces nation-wide for victims of human trafficking, but there are hundreds of thousands of victims in the United States. Charlotte is unfortunately sixth in the nation for human trafficking. It is our goal to help raise the needed funds to rescue these women from this horrific industry and give them the opportunity to have a safe and fulfilling life that many of us take for granted.
Since last year’s Goddess Games, I’ve continued to follow the efforts of the nation to fight human trafficking. It often appears like an impossible battle and I wonder how much of a difference I can make or even the impact many of us can have in putting an end to this industry.
Recently, I was watching a documentary on Netflix about human trafficking. It began with a pimp talking about his business.
“All women are either a prostitute or a whore. The definition of a prostitute is a woman who sells her p*ssy for money. A whore f*cks for free. Now, you ask any woman, ‘Do you sell your p*ssy or do you give your p*ssy away?’ One of the answers is going to be ‘I sell my p*ssy or I give it away for free.’ “
His offensive statements shocked me. I felt as if someone had slapped me. This is the industry’s view of women – they are a commodity. To the pimps and the johns, these women are not human beings with thoughts, goals, dreams, and emotions. They are a means to an end. A money making machine. A moment of self pleasure. A whore or a prostitute.
I find this so very wrong.
The more I’ve researched this topic, it scares me how it can affect any person, any race, any religion, any age, and any socioeconomic status. All women are at risk. These predators come across someone during a vulnerable state in her life and they capitalize on it. We’ve all been vulnerable at some point in our lives and most of us reading this have been fortunate enough to not encounter a monster during such a time. But there are too many people who have fallen prey to these monsters of manipulation and that is unacceptable.
No one wants to be a prostitute. No one wants to sell their body for money, shelter, or food. People say, “They have a choice to do another job.” No, they don’t. This isn’t “Pretty Woman.” This is modern slavery. They don’t just walk away or ride off in a limo with Richard Gere. These women are threatened and harmed physically, emotionally, and mentally. They are tattooed and identified as someone’s property. It’s an extremely abusive cycle and a difficult one to break. These women have lost all self esteem and self worth. They have been beaten into submission and have been convinced no one loves them, no one cares about them, and they feel invisible. Take your worst day ever of being self critical and beating yourself up for something and increase that by tenfold. Now, imagine feeling that way all day, every day. Or having someone constantly say aloud to you all of those destructive thoughts you have at your worst moments.
The pimps in the documentary discussed how they used different “methods” for different girls and it was key to getting them the desired results. It’s heartbreaking and it’s wrong.
Sadly, these women don’t have many resources. They are in fact the ones arrested and often times prosecuted for criminal activity. Even the police can’t help them and the women don’t speak out for fear of repercussions. Law enforcement struggles with how to prosecute the traffickers and are starting to have some success with exploring other avenues to bring justice, but the victims have no justice.
There are currently over 20 million people worldwide who are victims of human trafficking. That’s a lot of injustice. More people are enslaved today than any previous time in history. That’s a staggering statistic.
So how is the Goddess Games going to help 20 million people? Well, the sad truth is we’re not, but we’re hoping we can raise money to help victims in the Charlotte area. We also want to increase awareness about this issue, so perhaps we can recognize it if we see it and help prevent it.
Goddess Games is also our way of giving women a safe, encouraging, and positive environment to see their athletic potential. We hope this leads to an increase in confidence for all those that participate and those watching the event. We hope this community feels the love and support that is offered and knows there is someone out there that can help them. Every woman is important. Every woman is worthy. Every woman is a Goddess.
~ Candice Case
Goddess Games 2015 will be going on at CrossFit Northlake, located at 8721 Sidney Circle in Charlotte, on Saturday and Sunday, August 15th and 16th from 8am-3pm. We will have individual and team competition, vendors, and raffling items to raise money for Justice Ministries. For more information, please contact Candice@crossfitnorthlake.com. We hope to see you there!