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Trying to escape from abuse from her father, a young Keeya Vawar ran away from home, only to find herself a victim of sex trafficking, taken advantage of by musicians who preyed on her youth.
With January as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Month, Vawar wants to share her story and raise awareness. “I grew up in a home where I was verbally and physically abused by my father and thought running away was the answer,” says Vawar, a wife and mother of three. “I was able to break away, find faith and rebuild my life. That’s what I want to inspire and teach others to do.”
Vawar is encouraging everyone to plan to wear blue in support of the blue campaign Launched by The Department of Homeland Security in support of human trafficking victims nationwide [@dhsbluecampaign].
The statistics are frightening. According to the federal government, more than 51% of the criminal human trafficking cases active in the U.S. were sex trafficking cases involving only children and the average age a teen enters the sex trade in the U.S. is 12 to 14 years old. According to the Institute on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault at the University of Texas 313,000 Texans, including 79,000 children, are caught up in human trafficking. Sadly, like Vawar, many victims are runaway girls who were emotionally, physically or sexually abused as children. She believes it is her mission to bring hope to victims and desires to partner with community leaders in the private and public sectors to weigh in on the conversation and organize efforts for positive change.
“This has got to stop,” says Vawar who recently launched the FAST (Fight Against Sex Trafficking) Forward initiative and the After School Achievement Program (ASAP), a mentoring program to help high-risk youth. “What I’ve found is many of the people just need someone to talk to someone who’s been there and can help them understand that there is a better way of life.”
Vawar is speaking at churches, conferences and other organizations throughout Dallas and Fort Worth, and is currently available for speaking opportunities. She is in the midst of completing her book that shares her survival story that chronicles some of the abuse she experienced and her road to recovery.
You can follow Vawar on social media: [Instagram: @keeyasays Facebook Keeya Vawar and her page Keep Encouraging Everyone Young At heart, Linkedin: Keeya Vawar and Twitter: @keeyasays] To interview Vawar or book her for speaking, contact Neil Foote, Foote Communications, email@example.com, 214-448-3765.