Free For Life 5k To Help Prevent Child Sex Slavery Trafficking Is Nov. 23

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Free for Life International partners with organizations and individuals globally to meet the needs of trafficking survivors and those who are considered to be in high risk of being trafficked.  Members of the Chattanooga Vineyard Church, along with other individuals in the area who support freedom from sex slavery, are taking local action to help people halfway across the globe. The goal is to raise both money and awareness to help stop sex slavery.   

The Free for Life 5K race will be Nov. 23 at 8:30 a.m. at Tennessee River Park (Pavilion 3), Robinson Bridge entrance and will raise money to prevent traffickers from selling young children or any human into sex slavery. 

The website is 

In 2010, Free for Life International began focusing its efforts internationally in Nepal, working with Peace Rehabilitation Center and together built border monitoring stations in Nepal / India where 240 girls have been rescued and 19 traffickers have been brought to justice. In March they built another one in Nepal / Tibet where 31 girls have been rescued and two traffickers have been brought to justice. 

Free for Life International visits their partners a minimum of once a year to ensure all standards of care and accountability are being met. All the money donated is focused in four main areas – what they like to call the 4 S’s: Shelters, Stations (Border Monitoring), Scholarships, and Sustainable Projects.

The number of shelters supported are: 2010: two; 2011: two; 2012: two; growth will be based on ability to support partners with excellence, monitor effectiveness in a systematic manner, and secure donors to fund additional works.

The number of scholarships given: 2011 – 2012: 6 2013:___

The number of trafficking survivors helped: 2010: 39; 2011: 72; 2012: 159 2013:___

The prosecution of traffickers: 2010: 3; 2011: 6; 2012: 10 2013:___

Here is a rescued girls story:

"When you read Aapti’s story it is hard to imagine that she is only 19 years of age. When Aapti was just six months old, her mother died, and her father, an addict, abandoned her. Aapti however was not alone she was taken in and raised by her grandfather. He was a very loving man, and although no one can substitute for a mother, she was loved and secure.

"That security abruptly came to an ended when her grandfather became ill and passed away. At this point, she was a teenager, and her biological father and new stepmother found out that Aapti was alone. They were able to gain access to her and to Aapti’s horror her father sold her into domestic slavery to a hotel. Just imagine this time in her life that while she was so vulnerable as she grieved her grandfather’s death her father would exploit and betray her. 

"Aapti escaped from the hotel and returned to her village area. But when her father and stepmother heard she was back, they again sold her – this time to a different hotel – again as a domestic slave. At this hotel, she was physically and sexually abused, as she was forced to work long hours with no pay. She fought back and was able again find a way to escape, but – with no means of support and nowhere else to go – she went back to her village out of desperation. 

"This time, her father and stepmother loaded Aapti along with other girls onto a bus with the intention of selling them to a brothel in India. The bus driver overheard enough of the discussions going on to figure out what was happening. He was able to find a way to allow Aapti and two other girls to jump from the bus. Aapti was injured when she jumped, but she managed to make her way into the jungle, where her body finally gave way, and she passed out. 

"Aapti was found by one of the staff working at Free for Life’s partner border monitoring station on Nepal-India border. She was taken to a hospital for treatment, and finally, after many years of having nowhere to run, she was ushered through the doors of Nepal’s Safe Home, Peace Rehabilitation Center. She could breathe deeply for the first time in a long time.

"Today, Aapti’s soul cries out something very similar to the lyrics that many of us know so well: I sing because I’m happy / I sing because I’m free / For His eye is on the sparrow / And I know he watches me (His Eye is on the Sparrow). Now, there is no more running – she rests from peace, not exhaustion. She is doing very well, and her future looks bright. Her story already points to her courageous spirit and what a fighter she is. But now that Aapti’s spirit has been coupled with people who walk beside her with support to help her succeed, the possibilities are very exciting to consider. Aapti is indeed a remarkable young woman and we are indeed blessed to be just a small part of helping her find the freedom so desperately desired."

Portion Of Ringgold Road Down To One Lane This Afternoon

The East Ridge Police Department wants the public to be aware that Ringgold Road from Mack Smith Road to just past the I-75 interchange is down to one lane in each directions due to constructions. Citizens will want to find alternate routes where possible to avoid delays. The lane closures will be in effect until approximately 5 p.m. today.  (click for more)

International Brotherhood Of Police Officers Local Endorses Hammond For Sheriff

The International Brotherhood of Police Officers Local #673 has announced its endorsement of Sheriff Jim Hammond. The Chattanooga-Hamilton County area IBPO issued the following statement after unanimous board approval: “The International Brotherhood of Police Officers Local #673 is happy to announce its endorsement of Jim Hammond for Hamilton County Sheriff. During his ... (click for more)

Alexander Says Chickamauga Lock Construction Fully Funded For 4th Consecutive Year

Senator Lamar Alexander on Wednesday said the government funding bill will fully fund construction of Chickamauga Lock for the fourth consecutive year, providing up to $78 million – which is more than twice the amount of funding the project received last year.   Senator Alexander said he has made completion of Chickamauga Lock one of his top priorities as chairman ... (click for more)

Former Juvenile Court Magistrate Says Gay Marriage Is "Nothing You Put In Air Quotes"

A former magistrate at Juvenile Court, who claims she was fired by Judge Rob Philyaw because she is openly gay, said Wednesday that gay marriage "is nothing you put in air quotes." She referred to County Attorney Rheubin Taylor asking her about her ceremony in marrying another woman and raising his hands to form quote marks. Elizabeth Gentzler is suing Hamilton County, Judge ... (click for more)

Avoid Underage Drinking And Other Prom Drama

My high school prom took a dramatic turn when two guys got their tuxedo jackets mixed up. One of them belonged to my date, who kindly offered to keep my wallet in his pocket. That’s the jacket another young man mistakenly grabbed off the back of a chair before heading to an underage drinking party that got shut down by police well after midnight—as kids scattered in every direction.  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Sheriff’s Request

Jim Hammond will talk to members of the Hamilton County School Board on Thursday afternoon and, just like any police officer in the United States, he will request that everybody “stay in their own lane.” Some school board members tend to believe they need to help decide the best methods of protecting our children. They believe this is one of the things they were elected to do in ... (click for more)