On the day that President Obama spoke about his administration’s beefed up efforts to fight against human trafficking, MORE Magazine’s October issue hit the news stands with an excellent article on one of trafficking’s leading advocates, Dottie Laster.
President Obama Speaks Against Human Trafficking
Enforcing the laws, rescuing and restoring victims of trafficking is a 24 hour job which Dottie Laster takes seriously. With little sleep, Laster’s phone is always on, ready to take the next call from the next victim who may need her help, or victims whom she has rescued who just need to talk to her in order to stay on the path of self sufficiency.
MORE Magazine article, Sex Trafficking’s Unlikely Angel, by Mimi Swartz, outlines what it’s like for Dottie Laster as an advocate, trainer and facilitator to victims of sex trafficking globally. Lately, Laster has focused within her home state of Texas and has helped expose what’s going on behind closed doors in the bars and cantinas, massage parlors and spas, and sometimes residential homes in Houston, one of the major hubs for trafficking in the US.
Schwartz’s article also relates the stories of two of the victims which Dottie Laster and her team rescued, Lizbeth and Precious. Both caught up in sex trafficking, but now working through the difficulties specific to human trafficking victims, overcoming addictions and fear, they are both on their way to a stable life with the help of Dottie Laster.
One of the barriers standing in the way of fighting against human trafficking is that people either don’t believe it or don’t want to hear about it…until it happens to their family member or someone they know. Dottie Laster is on the front lines of awareness, education and training. Her work with such organizations as the Bernardo Kohler Center, as well as the Deptartment of Justice, qualify Laster to work with law enforcement agencies and organizations across the country to get the message to the public that human trafficking is one of the fastest growing crimes affecting every country, even the United States.
It’s often difficult for the victims to get a fresh start, especially in the job market where background and credit checks limit the availability of meaningful employment. Resources for rescued victims are limited throughout the United States, clearly an area of need among nearly every community whose budgets are forcing them to work at a minimum. Like anyone victimized by crime, trafficking victims must have specialized care, safety from the traffickers, mental health treatment, and the basics like food and shelter.
Described in Swartz’s article in MORE Magazine as a “relentless recovery squad of one,” Dottie Laster tirelessly devotes whatever it takes to rescue and restore victims, many more like Precious and Lizbeth. Her motto, “first rescue, then self-sufficiency” is taken quite seriously.
Recently, Laster has created a way for victims to find that self-sufficiency by designing and creating jewelry for TRAFFICKED Designs and an awareness campaign called SOS “Save One Soul. A dedicated website will be launched soon for showcasing and purchasing the many exclusive designs created by victims of trafficking. Until the website is completed jewelry can be seen on Laster’s blog, Anti Human Trafficking News.
“The inspiration for TRAFFICKED Designs is”Lisbeth” who was rescued by me and my team on Sept 15 2010- she reported being held as a victim of sex trafficking.
In her recovery she learned to make and sell jewelry- when she came to live with me it reminded me that I had made jewelry for my cousin when I was younger- he eventually grew his business to employ many people- I am hopeful that TRAFFICKED Designs will employ victims of trafficking and others who need a way to enter the economy.”
The Save One Soul awareness campaign begins with the SOS distress call that each victim of human trafficking should be noticed, rescued and restored to society. Individuals who purchase and wear the SOS jewelry will be creating more awareness as well as sustaining victims until they are able to find better jobs.
While President Obama has declared a tough stance on eradicating trafficking it takes much more. It takes the awareness and activism of everyone, in every community, to recognize it for what it is and do something about it.
Please head to your nearest magazine retailer and get the October issue of MORE Magazine for the complete story by Mimi Swartz to learn all about the background and life work of Sex Trafficking’s Unlikely Angel, Dottie Laster.
To schedule Dottie Laster for your next event, training or speaking engagement, please contact ImaginePublicity: phone 843.808.0859 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dottie Laster: Human Trafficking Victims Find New Opportunity with TRAFFICKED Designs (imaginepublicity.com)
- Dottie Laster and Human Trafficking Featured in PI Magazine (antihumantraffickingnews.blogspot.com)
- Dottie Laster: Holding the Department of Justice Accountable for Neglecting Victims of Human Trafficking (imaginepublicity.com)
- Dottie Laster on Panel at Human Trafficking Summit (antihumantraffickingnews.blogspot.com)
- The Roth Show: Dottie Laster and Brandon Darby, Human Trafficking Cases Being Ignored by FBI?! (imaginepublicity.com)