'I Lived Next Door to a Brothel'
Last week President Obama launched a nationwide human trafficking awareness campaign, proclaiming this month National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.
Leading up to this month, my sister, Marissa, and I began e-mailing back and forth about the injustice of slavery and human trafficking. "I can't help feel guilty—guilty of ignorance, lack of action, or the privilege and freedom into which we were born," she wrote.
I understood her sentiments. The summer after my sophomore year of college, I was volunteering at a school for slum children in Bangalore, India.
Shortly after my arrival, I discovered that I was living next door to a brothel.
My housemate and I decided to invite some of the girls over for dinner, hoping to hear their stories, but our invitation was turned down. We soon learned that the girls were not allowed to leave the premises for more than five minutes. Any errands lasting longer could result in a severe beating, or worse.
It seemed that all I could do was ...1