Sunday, September 18, 2011

Joining Together

I think of how many people are involved in human trafficking and how so many people want to abuse and use these girls for their own gain. My heart sinks everytime I think of this. Everytime I hear another young girl has went missing my mind starts wondering about thinking if maybe, just maybe, that child is in "their" hands. I wished I could do so much more than just sit around and try to make a difference from my computer. I want to do more. My hope in writing this blog is to get everyone who works with the different human trafficking issues to join hands and to work together to make a difference. I know we CAN make a difference! So if you are reading this now and you are also trying to help put a stop to this kind of problem than please write in. We need to bring a lot of awareness to this and hopefully very soon put a STOP to it. I hope to hear from you soon.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Stepping Up and Stepping Out by Joy Morris

How many times have you looked over your shoulder and seen someone who has their head up and is walking tall? Very confident. Have you ever thought to yourself that you wished you were like her/him? Sure you did! We all love to hang around someone who is confident. Someone who can draw a crowd no matter where their at. We look in the mirror and wonder why we can't be that way. Well I have news for CAN be the exact same way!
You have to step up and step out! What does that mean you ask yourself? IT means that you have to make the decision that you are going to be more confident and then you have to act upon it and step out. The second part would be considered hard to most people but it doesn't have to be. Look we've all been through something very hard in our lives. But why do we have to let those hard times keep us from being the most confident person in the world? No one likes to hang around someone who always has their head down and is afraid to make conversation with others. So decide today that your going to step up and step out! I guarantee you that once you adopt this lifestyle, you will see so many people want to hang around you. You will be the person everyone else wants to be just like. So make the change and watch how not only you feel better but everyone else around you will as well.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Forgiveness in your heart by Joy Morris

I've been raised up to forgive and to forget everything bad that happens in my life but what if the wounds are so deep that it's almost impossible to forgive? That's a very good question!
There have been so many people that have hurt me in my own life. People that I would have never thought would harm one hair on my head. Boy was I wrong! I've always tried to be a kind and giving person but as I've grown older I'm becoming more and more guarded in my life. It's ok to have some walls up but when you get to a point that no one can break through those walls even to know you as an overall person it's time to get some help. I know that a lot of you who read these blogs have had some type of harm done to you by someone in your world. It's so easy to just be angry at that person and to blame everything on who hurt you. The backlash to that method though is that you end up looking older than you should in just one years time! You end up having different health risks from anger. That's not the way life should be. When you stay angry and hold resentment towards that person you end up hurting yourself more than that person. My question is....who ends up winning? That person does.... NOT you! So it's time to find that forgiveness in your heart. That doesn't mean that you'll ever forget what they did or that you'll ever trust that person again but it does mean that you will have peace in your heart and in your mind to become that happy person you always should have been before the harm was done. So if your reading this now and you have not taken the time or the energy to forgive the person who harmed you, do so now! Don't wait another day. It's time to take control back over your own life. So no more being the victim.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Taking Control by Joy Morris

You look in the mirror and realize that you do not recognize this person anymore. Why is that? Is it because so much has went on in your life that you feel you've lost all control? Or maybe it's because you've allowed yourself to be consumed with thoughts of all the bad that has happened to you. Regardless of which one it question to you is.....when is it enough?
I have been through so much in my own life. I have learned that I cannot blame myself for things that have happened nor can I hold a grudge against someone who has done me wrong. When you do this and when you allow hate to consume you then you have let that person or people win. You have to make a daily decision to take control over your life. You wake up and you make the choice to brush your teeth, you make the choice to put your clothes on. So why not make the choice to take control over your life and take a stand letting everyone know that you WILL be happy and you WILL succeed in life.
I've heard many times that life can be simple and I've just laughed at that saying.. but if you truly think about can be simple because life is what you make of it. So make the choice each and everyday of your life to push forward, to forgive those who have wronged you and to be happy no matter what you do. You will see the huge impact it makes not only on you but others in your life that you surround yourself with. I pray for happiness and peace in each and everyone of your lives.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

When Is Enough..ENOUGH?!?! By: Joy Morris

Day in and day out I wake up. I go through the motions. I go to sleep. I keep going over the same thoughts in my head..I can't live like this anymore! I can't take it any longer! I'm so tired. I can barely get out of bed every morning. I just can't take it! STOP! Please make it STOP!
Does this sound familar? Maybe it's exactly someone you know OR maybe it's you! So how does this go away? Well as long as you go through the motions and you allow your life to keep going down this roller coaster ride day in and day out then it will never go away. But if you take control of your life and change your thought process AND who you surround yourself with, then you can guarantee that your life will go in a different direction. You WILL start to push forward and feel better. You have to learn to take life one day at a time. Most of you have been through a tragic event. Most of you are still not over it either. In your mind you are still a victim. That's ok. But my question is..when is it enough? So many people have went through something bad in their lives yet they've learned how to push forward and to not allow the tragic event to take over their life. You see when you concentrate on the bad that happened to you and you rehearse that night/nights over and over again in your head, you are allowing that person or those people to win. Most of us hold anger inside and we hold a grudge against the person or people who did the wrong to us. How is that making them pay for what they did? Before you know it ten years have gone by and you have so many lines on your face from in depth anger which has caused you to grow old very fast. It's time to stand up and make a change. So you can't change the order of events that happened. So what! You CAN change YOU though. You can set a short term goal for yourself and plan to accomplish that goal. You can change your thought patterns. You can choose to have only positive friends in your life. You see all of this is nothing more than a choice. A decision. All of which YOU have control over! So it's time to say enough is enough and make that change! Don't allow another ten years to fly by. Start now. The person or people that did you wrong will pay sometime down the road. You can count on it! Don't allow your anger and resentment though to drive you in your life. Find ways to make a change and to bring happiness to yourself and to others around you. You do matter and you do deserve only the best life has to offer. Don't let anyone tell you differently. So let's get started! Write out your short term goal and then let's see if you follow through.....Good Luck!

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Pain Within by Joy Morris

So many times we walk among the crowds and we smile yet we hurt so badly inside. We are afraid of anyone seeing the pain we have within us. We want the pain to go away but we don't know how to make that disappear. We forget that we have our own voice and our own minds to stand tall. We also forget that we make a choice everyday to just get out of bed and to push forward through another hard day. We choose to keep going and we choose to put on that fake smile. So why is it that we choose to allow the ones who have hurt us to win? Why do we tuck our tail between our legs and say we are worth nothing? It's time to take a stand and to realize that our lives our just as valuable as the next persons. Just because someone has power or someone has money does not mean they are better then you or me. We have the will to stand on our own two feet and walk through the streets each day. Now we need to give ourselves the permission to have the will to say we choose to win! We choose to be happy and we choose to fight for what's ours. So make that promise to yourself today. Do not allow the person who hurt you to win. Do not allow the one who took something from you to continue to take more away. Stand tall and stand proud. You ARE valuable. There are many of us that believe in you and believe you will find that happiness and inner strength. So now it's up to you to do the same. Believe in yourself.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Message To Victims

New post by Joy Morris: Finding The Inner You. Go to the Iana The Book website by clicking on: and click on Support For Victims:

Friday, April 8, 2011

Trafficked Victims Become The Hand Of God

by Iana Matei as told to Pam Pyne

My mom died this past week. With the hand of God, the help of a dream, and the girls from the shelter, I move forward.

“Ms. Matei, your mother’s passing is close.”
The nurse’s words through the phone brought me fully awake. “I’ll come right now”
When I arrived at the hospital, I held my mother’s weak hand. I kissed the cheek of a slight version of the strong woman who had raised me. Then she was gone. I was left to reflect not only on her life, but also on the dream I was having when the nurse had called me.

In my dream, soft, light bathed my mother’s bedside while I stood in a darkened corner. I couldn’t see my mother because friends and family surrounded her. They were speaking softly to her, stoking he head and her hair. Then they began to weep and I knew she was dead.
Now, grief clutched my throat so hard that I could barely breathe. My mother and I had wasted so many years living in a strained relationship with one another. She wanted to protect me. I wanted to see what was possible and push beyond the limits. My mother grew up in the communist era, where the goal was to go unnoticed and do nothing to upset anyone in order to stay out of prison.  I chose not to live my life in fear so I excelled in making her feel uncomfortable. My lifestyle provided her no assurances for my safety.
When a student demonstration went awry in the late 1980’s the police showed up at her apartment searching for me. Later, when she learned that I had fled Romania and was in a Serbian jail, she worried about me and pleaded for me to change. While I decided to move to Australia, certainly a more docile environment, the geographical distance created a different kind of strain on our relationship. For years, the two people she cared for most, her grandson and I, were out of reach.
Even ten years later, when I returned to Romania and started the work with the trafficked victims, to avoid what I perceived as her pessimism, I continued to put emotional distance between my mother and myself. Years of disappointment had left my mother hard and tough. I, in turn, created barriers that didn’t allow me to recognize the good that God had also placed within my mother.

Her illness had forced her to recognize that there was no way to control her outcome or her surroundings.  When she embraced a gentler side of herself I began to see my mother as the warm, loving woman God had created her to be.
I had so hoped for another twenty years with my mother so that we could enjoy our new way of relating to one another. Instead, I had to leave her at the hospital, dead and alone.
When I finally arrived home, it was the middle of the night. I lay down and tried to rest, but thoughts of the days ahead almost caused me to hyperventilate.  My car sat in the driveway completely out of gas. According to Romanian tradition, I would need to prepare a meal for all those who would come to mourn my mother’s death and make all the funeral arrangements. In larger families, these tasks are divided between the siblings. But I was an only child, so I would need to do it all. Somehow, I’d still need to be mommy to my four-year-old twins at a time when I just felt like huddling in a corner and grieving. How would I accomplish it all?    

Then I remembered the dream I was having when the nurse had called to let me know my mom didn’t have much more time. In my dream, as I had stood off to the side in the dark and sobbed, a hand had come from behind. It rested on my shoulder and as it did so, peace flooded me. I didn’t turn to see whose hand patted my shoulder. I didn’t need to turn. I knew by the peace that inundated my entire being; the hand could only belong to the one who created me. Only God could possibly know what I needed and provide for me at this time. Remembrances of that dream stilled my racing heart and I drifted off to sleep.
When the sun rose, the woman who comes to help me with my twin girls arrived and set some things in motion. She saw to it that I had gas in my car. She contacted the shelter. The social worker and the girls (trafficked victims) decided they would take care of all the food. The girls lightened my load as they shopped and prepared a wonderful meal for my mother’s funeral. Then, later at the church, they sat with me. They held my hand; they hugged me; they reached out and rubbed my shoulder.
My interaction with the girls has been bumpy at times. They have been physically wounded, emotionally hurt and abused in every way. When they arrive at the shelter, it almost always begins as a one-sided relationship.  They’re so used to self-protecting emotionally, that they’ve built walls around their hearts. I, on the other hand can at times be a bit tough. My attitude is often, “OK, so you’ve been hurt. Does this make you the center of the universe?” The girls’ attitude and mine sometimes clash creating emotional distance.
But on the day of my mother’s funeral, when I was so needy and all my toughness disintegrated, these girls became the hand of God to me as they stroked my hair and wiped my tears.           


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Iana The Book Website

We've launched a new website called Iana The Book Iana The Book

On this site we provide more information about Iana's work and ways you can become involved. We welcome your comments and response.

Response to African pedophile ring smashed

Human trafficking is growing because we fail to act or re-act. It’s the Government's responsibility to fight organized crime. How much more are we going to talk about this? When are we going to take measures? I mean real measures, measures that will stop (not reduce) human trafficking?

When more individuals, governments and law agencies insist, perhaps we will see more news like the news that came from the Netherlands today.

... international pedophile ring smashed

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Police said Wednesday they have smashed a huge international pedophile ring, rescuing 230 children from abuse and arresting 184 suspects — including teachers and police officers....

Monday, March 14, 2011

Human Trafficking, The African Angle

By Ifeanyi Onwumere

Human trafficking is the modern day slavery. I’m sure we’ve all heard it before, but until we find a way to purge it from among us, it bears repeating. Just as slavery proved an extremely cruel, yet profitable business venture in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, modern-day slavery (human trafficking) provides enormous profits with little risk to the trafficker. Today, for every 20,000 persons trafficked, only 1 trafficker is imprisoned. It’s no wonder that this form of human brutality has defied all governmental efforts to eradicate it.

Impoverished or distressed victims place their faith in those who promise a better life somewhere far away. By the time reality reveals the lies contained within the promise, it’s too late. Someone owns them and they are the property of masters, who treat them worse than animals by caging them, tying them up, burning them for infractions, and imprisoning them within the confines of the pimp's twisted world.

There are many facets to human trafficking. In this writing, I speak of human sex trafficking--the most lucrative business when compared to other forms of modern slavery.

Wikipedia defines Sex trafficking as: “The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act in which a commercial sex act is induced by force….”

In parts of Nigeria, Togo, Cameroon, Liberia, many third world countries, and in Eastern Europe and Asia, it’s often the parents, who for a small profit, lead their daughters into this unethical venture.

Poverty and ignorance on the part of parents who can’t afford food for a family and the lack the financial capacity to train their daughters in school, tempt parents to hand their children over to men and women in this business hoping to receive financial returns in the future. The patrons or madams as they are called promise to take the girls to Western Europe where “a job is waiting for them.”  Upon reaching Europe, especially Western Europe, these girls will find that there is no job. Their madam or patron forces them to into prostitution by demanding the girl repay the money spent on her travels. At times, the parents are threatened with death unless their child pays the full amount, which in most cases, is triple the amount the trafficker spent.

The most painful aspect of the whole profession remains that these pimps strip away a girl’s freedom by placing her under constant surveillance. Many girls have no access to a telephone, or if they do, calls are carefully monitored to ensure they speak only with clients. In most cases, a telephone does them little good as they are somewhere strange and don’t know the language.

Some girls never make it as far as Europe. Like the slave trade in years past, they die en-route under perilous conditions.

To buttress my point, follow this link to an article that appeared in Sahara, an online news outlet based in the United State of America but edited by a Nigerian.

Conclusion: “ Charity they say begins a’ home”. Parents, I must say, must share the blame of these ugly and horrible trends. They should know to whom they hand over their child. Poverty is not an excuse to encourage a child into prostitution. Of course, some of these parents know that their daughters are going into prostitution and encourage them. But what they often fail to comprehend is the hazardous nature of the business and its after effect and life long trauma. All national governments in collaboration with international agencies as well as the immigration officials must place all hands on deck to eradicate this ugly monster that has reared its head into African society. Stiff penalties which are not easily recovered from must be melted out to those directly or indirectly involved and serve as a deterrent to participants in this modern sex slave industry.

Trading in humans is not acceptable, no matter how impoverished the nation, people group or family. Only when education and spiritual/family ties override greed and poverty will we see a decrease in human trafficking and sexual slavery.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Early Trafficked Victims-Bucharest 1997

by Pam Pyne

     By 1997, I had lived in Romania for four years. Each week I, along with a group of people from the church I attended, took food and clothing to the street where children lived under the manhole covers huddling around the sewer pipes to keep warm.
      This is where I first witnessed the men who showed up and took the children away. These children and youth could be gone for weeks, months, or forever.
     The disturbing sight of children and teens negotiating with men and then disappearing into cars right out in the open etched itself into my memory. Today, I struggle to know exactly what to do with these images.  I witnessed the abduction of some of East Europe's modern day trafficked sex-slaves after communism fell and the borders opened, bringing in pedophiles from all nations and providing a way to take children out of the country. It did no good to protest or to cry out to these men. They were bigger than me and they didn't care what I thought or said or what anyone in our group had to say about their behavior. 
     The police, at the time, were all too happy to have someone take a child from the street. Fewer children living in the street meant fewer problems for police officers to deal with. It also meant fewer kids to round up and put into the basement of the city jail when foreign dignitaries came to town and the mayor instructed police to round up all the street kids and incarcerate them for a few days. 
      The following poem describes what I saw.

Their World

Under manhole covers
Near Bucharest’s train station,
Lie children in holes
Huddled around sewer pipes.

Gray skies, gray skin,
Gray wounds on bare feet.
We enter their hole
Upon invitation—

Their home.
Their world.
Urine puddles
Under the ladder.

My LL Bean
Hiking Boots
Sink in.
I want to take wipes-a-lot

I want to wipe it all down.
In the end,
All I can do is wipe
A wound or two

And apply band-aids.

Children shriek,
Big men ride
small children
I use wipes-a-lot

And apply band-aids

Over and over
 with each band-aid I pray,
"Balm of Gilead,
 cover these wounds
with your healing power."

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Taking It With You by Joy Morris.....

Message to Victims II

So I’ve dipped into this issue of human trafficking a lot deeper. One thing I’ve realized is how hard it is for the victims to move forward in life after being a part of this vicious cycle. They take the pain with them. What saddens my soul is the fact that these people who make you a victim end up winning in the end, when you allow your life to stop. I can’t say that I know exactly how you feel because I have not been a victim of trafficking. But I can say that I’ve been a victim of so many other things that were pretty bad. At first I allowed it to take over my life and I didn’t even care to want to go on in life. My life spiraled out of control and there was only one way to go…. Down. I didn’t want to hit rock bottom and I knew that I had to change things. I had to change things for the better to not only help myself but to help those around me. You see when I allowed others to take over my life it didn’t just affect me… affected everyone around me that was close to me….my daughter, my mom and dad, etc…. I know that you do not want those around you hurt by your pain. You really have to step outside of the box and take a clear look at your life. What is best for you? Is it giving up and giving in? Or is it using your story as a testimony to others? I know that by using my testimony as an inspiration to others, that I have reached others and helped them make changes too! And so can you! So take some time this week and really think about what’s happened and how YOU can come out on top. In the end you can count on your story being an inspiration to others and YOUR story making an impact in the lives of others.