Friday, May 30, 2008

Victims of Sex Trafficking are in need of Your Support

Empower the Natashas is a non-profit University of Washington student project created by Heather Baldwin that is aimed at supporting, rehabilitating and preventing victims of sex trafficking in Belgrade, Serbia. Heather is putting together a silent auction to be held on Sunday June 8, 3 - 5 pm. at the home of a local donor.

From the auction publicity info:

Women who are trafficked for sexual exploitation are mercilessly beaten, raped, tortured (mentally, physically, and emotionally) and recklessly killed. If the women are discovered and “rescued” by the authorities, they are usually deported back to their country of origin as “foreign trash” and re-victimized. After repatriation, these women are back where they began except that in addition to their low socio-economic status they are now strapped with anxiety and depressive disorders, disfigurement, social stigma, a sense of powerlessness and possibly HIV.

The Project Auction to support the Empower The Natashas Project, organized by a Masters in Public Health student at the University of Washington, is the project’s largest fundraiser. The proceeds from this event are used to supplement travel expenses, project supplies, volunteer room and board, and project beneficiary stipend. The Project Auction to support the Empower The Natashas Project is not a 501(c) (3) entity as it is a local student project. Donated Auction item(s) are not tax deductible but they are greatly appreciated and necessary to raise funds for this worthy project.

Among the donated items are a self-defense class (contributed by me, of course), wine gift basket, Aveda 90 minute facial, truffles from Cafe Flora, a month of karate training, cleaning services, and others too numerous to mention.

For more info visit the Empower the Natashas blog. Make an online donation. Attendance is by invitation, so contact Heather at ragdoll24@hotmail.com if you'd love to attend.

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