A few weeks after someone from America had ordered Red Alert, I received a message from a man of the US navy. He had borrowed my book from the American buyer, and read it. In his message, he told me that the book made him cry, and his eyes were opened. He was shocked that so many women fell victim to human trafficking and were forced into prostitution. He had never realized this before. The man told me that when he was training as a navy cadet, they were encouraged to visit prostitutes when they visited ports in different countries, because it would help release any tension and frustration they had, and it would make them more relaxed. It was just a normal thing for them to do, to go and visit a prostitute. He had also visited women in Amsterdam’s red light district when his ship came to Holland.
He said that reading Red Alert had given him a wakeup call. He said that the navy should be made aware of the problems of human trafficking and forced prostitution, and that the cadets’ mindsets should be changed. Men should protect women instead of abusing them.
I have now been invited to go to the USA and speak to the US navy cadets in 2017.
I was invited to give a presentation to the Dutch police departments of Emmeloord, Dronten and Lelystad. I really enjoyed my afternoon with the police, giving a presentation about human trafficking and forced prostitution. My presentation started with a video and photos, after which I told them stories and facts. They were really interested and really had a heart to help these women.
The officers told me that they came into contact with a lot of women, of whom they were sure they were victims, but who were too afraid to speak. The women kept silent and were really terrified. Many of them were scared of the police, because in eastern European countries the police often were corrupt. Pimps would pay them to turn a blind eye. Many women had spent many nights in police cells, where they were beaten. Many of the victims were brought to breaking houses before being brought to the Netherlands. In these houses, the women’s trust was broken, and pimps and criminals dressed as police cops would test them to see if they were loyal or would betray them to the police. When the girls thought they were talking to a police officer and told them what had happened, the disguised criminals would beat them and laugh at them, teaching them not to trust anyone.
The police officers I spoke to really wanted to gain the trust of the women they thought were victims, so they could help them. They told me that they would love to hand out Red Alert to the women to read, so that maybe they would recognize themselves in the stories, and open up to the police, so the police could help them.
One of the female police officers told me that she had worked in Amsterdam’s red light district for a few years and she confirmed everything I had told that day. The stories and facts were completely true, and she had met many victims behind Amsterdam’s windows.
I was really happy that the police I spoke to had a heart to help these victims. When I get more sponsor books, I will give them to the Dutch police, so they can hand them out to suspected victims of human trafficking and forced prostitution.