Friday, February 12, 2100

How I Started My Abolitionist Journey

On February 11, 2010, my wife came across the website and we started looking through it together. We were awestruck to learn that slavery is still rampant worldwide, even in the United States. I started digging through their website for more information and I came across a video titled, "Imagine." This video didn't just grab me, it shook me. This was my call to action and I knew I had to join the fight.
This video was the turning point in my life where I became an abolitionist. I have three beautiful little girls and a little boy. This video kept me up through the night thinking of my own children and the suffering of child slaves around the world. I thought, "If only I could free these kids and adopt them as my own. Give them the protection and love all children deserve."

I thought of early abolitionists, the civil rights movement and horrid events such as the holocaust. How many people stood by while these atrocities occurred? A better question, how many stood up to defend the rights of themselves and others?

Will I stand by or stand up?
What will you do?

The first step to ending slavery worldwide is awareness. Until a few weeks ago, I was not aware that there are 27 million slaves worldwide. That's more slaves than any time in history, including the transatlantic slave trade. If I, an "educated" college graduate, business professional, youth church leader and father of five was not aware of the magnitude of modern slavery, then there must be thousands of others out there just like me that need to know.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

This is not anti-trafficking related, but I just released my first novel

This isn't related to anti-trafficking work, but it's an exciting achievement for me. I just published my first novel, I AM SLEEPLESS: SIM 299 (pen name Johan Twiss). It's a young adult science fiction/adventure story. If you or someone you know likes Science Fiction and/or Fantasy, I invite you to check it out.
I AM SLEEPLESS: SIM 299 (a novel)

I am also working on a crime fiction about human trafficking titled, ABOLERE. You can download the Ch.1 sampler hereI hope to have ABOLERE ready for release in the fall of 2016.

ABOLERE (a novel about human trafficking)

Below is the blurb for I AM SLEEPLESS: SIM 299 and you can also download chapters 1-4 sampler from my author website at

"A clean Space Fiction that will delight readers of all ages."  

         -Johan Twiss
I AM SLEEPLESS: SIM 299 (Book 1)
While the others slept, Aidan spent hours each night running sim after sim. Although he was only a twelve-year cadet, he had completed more simulations than any prime— ever.

“You are setting history,” General Estrago told him. “No one has ever made it to the current simulation you are attempting. The other Masters and I are eager to see what comes next.”

So was Aidan.

Book Synopsis: 
The planet Ethos is at war with a mysterious enemy known as the Splicers. Their only successful defense is the Prime Initiative. All newborns with the compatible genetic code are taken from their families and injected with the Prime Stimulus. Each child that survives the stimulus develops an extraordinary ability and is conscripted into the military for training. 

After turning twelve, Aidan is moved to the upper-class at the Mount Fegorio training complex. His special gifts allow him unprecedented success in the virtual training simulations, advancing him further than any prime cadet in history. No one knows what lies after sim 299, not even Director Tuskin, the ruthless and reclusive ruler of their planet. But something, or someone, has been guiding Aidan there. If he can pass the final tests, he may discover the key to ending the Splicer War. 

You can learn more about author Johan Twiss and his writing at

Monday, September 23, 2013

Cuatro Corridos Opera Addresses Sex Trafficking Along the Border

Cuatro Corridos is a chamber opera addressing one the critical human rights issues of human trafficking. Based on true events, it tells the story of women trapped in a cycle of prostitution and slavery in and around the San Diego/Tijuana border.

The opera is coming to Dallas on October 4th ,8pm, at the Nasher Sculpture Center.

Led by Grammy Award winning soprano Susan Narucki and noted Mexican author Jorge Volpi, the fully-staged production features original music by composers Hilda Paredes, Arlene Sierra, Lei Liang and Hebert Vázquez. Each composer gives voice to one of the four female characters by presenting one act in the hour-long drama.  

"Music has the power to establish contact between people — real, intimate contact that can cause us to question, to see things differently, to move us to action and to negate fear."
- Susan Narucki

After the performance, a brief post-concert discussion will be held about human trafficking with a panel of experts to answer questions.  Here are some reviews of  Cuatro Corridos from the LA Times other sources.

I am planning attend and I hope you will join me for the event.  

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Make a Difference in DFW. Your Donation Matched Today Only!

Today, $1 million in matching funds is available to help your gift go farther.
From 7 am to Midnight, you can click here to provide shelter, legal representation, counseling, and support services to survivors of human rights abuses. Your gift will be multiplied, and so will your impact.


Your support helps make our community a place where survivors of human trafficking and domestic violence can build new lives of freedom, safety, and hope.
Thank you,
Dr. Walter Nguyen
Executive Director

Mosaic is a safe haven for survivors of human rights abuses, 

including human trafficking and domestic violence. 

We create access to opportunities for our clients, empowering them toward independence. Mosaic is the only agency in North Texas with the multicultural staff and comprehensive services needed to reach refugee and immigrant survivors of abuse. All of our clients' needs are met in one safe place: they receive free shelter, legal representation, counseling and support services in more than 25 languages.
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Saturday, February 2, 2013

Help Pass Safe Harbor Legislation in Texas

You’ve stood up for victims of trafficking around the world. Now, you have the opportunity to help stand up for victims in Texas.
Human trafficking has been reported in every U.S. state, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimates that at least 100,000 children are victims of sex trafficking and prostitution each year in the United States.
While the U.S. has strong federal laws against child trafficking, many states lack state-level legislation to support these laws – leaving significant gaps in protecting children and ensuring they receive the services they need to restore their lives. In many cases, children rescued from trafficking are treated as criminals.
Will you join IJM, Polaris Project and local leaders in calling on Texas lawmakers to pass “Safe Harbor” legislation to protect child trafficking victims from being treated as criminals and to ensure survivors receive the specialized services they need?
Click here to learn more about SB92/HB91 and how you can help.
Join us now. Take action.

Seth Wispelwey
Field Organizer
P.S. Sign up now to join us for an Advocacy Training and Lobby Day in Austin on February 23 & 25!


Fact Sheets and Learning Resources for Abolitionists

The following fact sheets, case studies and research studies are provided by the International Justice Mission. They are very informative and well done. These are great resources available to the public and you can find more information at

Casework Stories
Studies and In-Depth Articles
In-depth studies, white papers and articles on IJM casework issues and impacts

Sunday, January 27, 2013

New Song from Musician and Fellow Abolitionist Jess Clayton


On Thursday 18th October, UK Anti-Slavery Day, up and coming musician Jess Clayton released her single ‘Voice for the Voiceless’ to raise awareness of modern day slavery and raise funds for The Treehouse Project.

The single was launched at a concert at Freedom Art Studios in front of a packed audience. The evening included performances from Beka Vyce, Red Letter and Jess Clayton. Proceeds from the concert and single downloads have already raised over £1,000 to help survivors of Human Trafficking.

Anti-Slavery Day was created by Act of Parliament in 2010 to raise awareness of modern slavery and to inspire people to eliminate it.
There are currently estimated to be 27 millions slaves in the world, more than at any other time in history. Modern day slaves are exploited for profit in many ways, including sexual exploitation, forced labour, trafficking and domestic servitude.
Human trafficking and exploitation is a growing problem with the UK recognised as a significant transit and destination country for trafficked women and young people. Many of those trafficked are under 18 years of age.

Jess Clayton is a singer-songwriter who is passionate about writing songs to make an impact.
She studied Commercial Music at Bath Spa University but stopped a year short of the full degree as she wanted to just get out in the world and start trying to make a difference.

In 2011 Jess was offered an internship working at the Trauma Recovery Centre (TRC) in Bath; a charity that offers free play therapy and counselling for children who are facing trauma and crisis. There she met Susie (whose real name shall remain unknown). Susie was 20 years old and had three children. She had been sold by her father into slavery at 13 after which time she suffered extreme abuse and exploitation. Susie finally managed to escape aged 19 years old after being assaulted for a final time and nearly losing her children and her life.

Jess says “I had the privilege of working with Susie and being her friend. Working at the TRC with the Treehouse Project tugged on so many of my heart strings, including the musical ones, I couldn’t help but start writing songs about it. These experiences have left me with a particularly strong determination to bring hope and change into the world through my music.

I recorded my single ‘Voice for the Voiceless’ to raise awareness of Human Trafficking. The song is inspired by my involvement with the TRC and working with survivors of human trafficking like Susie. 100% of all sales from the single will be donated to the TRC’s Treehouse Project which provides an aftercare service in the UK for survivors of Human Trafficking”

The TRC launched The Treehouse Project in February 2012. The project focuses on the rehabilitation of children and young people who have been the victims of human trafficking by providing therapeutic aftercare through counselling, befriending, education and accommodation.

‘Voice for the Voiceless’ can still be downloaded from for a donation of just £1, with all proceeds going to The Treehouse Project.

Finally Jess said “Even if you could just turn 27,000,000 slaves into 26,999,999, isn’t it worth it for that one?”


Saturday, January 26, 2013

New Book by Roberta Gately, The Bracelet, Explores Human Trafficking

The Bracelet is a new novel that explores the horrors of human trafficking with the aim of bringing awareness to the subject. Here is are links to buy the book.

I also suggest that if you have the time, and the drive, that you request this book at your local library. Most libraries have a place on their website to request books and authors. A great way to help raise awareness and education about human trafficking is to request more books on the topic for your local libraries. Here is a list of some books I have found helpful.

The Bracelet
By Roberta Gately
Published by Gallery Books
November 6, 2012; $15.00 US/ $17.00 CAN; 9781451669121


Newly heartbroken and searching for purpose in her life, Abby Monroe is determined to make her mark as a UN worker in one of the world's most unstable cities: Peshawar, Pakistan. But after witnessing the brutal murder of a woman thrown from a building, she is haunted by the memory of an intricate and sparkling bracelet that adorned the victim's wrist.
At a local women's shelter, Abby meets former sex slaves who have miraculously escaped their captors. As she gains the girls' trust and documents their horrifying accounts of unspeakable pain and betrayal, she joins forces with a dashing New York Times reporter who believes he can incriminate the shadowy leader of the vicious human trafficking ring. Inspired by the women's remarkable bravery -- and the mysterious reappearance of the bracelet -- the duo traces evidence that spreads from remote villages of South Asia to the most powerful corners of the West, risking their lives to offer a voice to the countless innocents in bondage.

About the Author
Roberta Gately
, author of The Bracelet, has served as a nurse and humanitarian aid worker in war zones ranging from Afghanistan to Africa, about which she wrote a series of articles for the BBC World News Online. She is also the author of the novel Lipstick in Afghanistan.
For more information please visit, and follow the author on Facebook and Twitter


"Roberta Gately uses her experiences working with refugees and traveling in the Middle East to take readers on a thrilling, highly visual trip into the world of human trafficking in Pakistan. The Bracelet is a pleasure from page one, and hard to put down until the very last page."
-- Jennifer Haupt, author of I'll Stand by You: One Woman's Mission to Heal the Children of the World

"Gately is very effective at covering the complexity of human trafficking in a straightforward and easy to read style that just keeps you turning the pages to find out what happens next . . . In addition to the great human interest stories within the story, there are enough surprising twists and revelations to make for a captivating and suspenseful read!"
-- Audrey Lawrence, Fresh Fiction

"Gately, a nurse and humanitarian worker, has a keen understanding of conflict zones and human trafficking, and the resultant detail is vibrantly deployed throughout her newest novel (after
Lipstick in Afghanistan)." 
-- Publisher's Weekly

"Gately's thought-provoking insights in The Bracelet deliver a clear message of her compassionate view of the subject matter. Gatley has hands-down passed the age-old litmus test of an accomplished writer in that, a writer writes what a writer knows -- without question, Ms. Gately knew her topic and therefore, she wrote a fantastic book. Quill Says: Current topic equals great read!
-- Feathered Quill Book Reviews

Monday, January 21, 2013

Great posts by MSN on Human Trafficking

To see all of the posts, photos and snippets, click here.  There are Q&A's with celebrities and NGO's, videos, quizzes and more.

Below are some of the visual displays that really stood out to me.

This is a preview for the documentary Rape for Profit.
Rape for Profit is a documentary in theaters now about the underage sex slavery problem in Seattle made vivid through interviews with law enforcement and non-profit organizations on the front lines.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Meet Jaiya

Jiaya never imagined that accepting a job offer would change her life. Shortly after her arrival in Texas, Jiaya was simply glad to have found a job and spent spent several days washing linens.  

However, when her employer learned she did not have any immigration documents, Jiaya was taken to a nearby apartment and stripped of her clothes, given lingerie and told that she would now be working as a prostitute. 

When Jiaya refused, she was beaten severely and deprived of food for several days. She was never allowed out of the small apartment - customers were brought to her. One month after her arrival, a police raid occurred, and Jiaya was identified as a victim of human trafficking.

Jiaya was immediately brought to Mosaic House, where she received food and clothing as well as shelter. Meeting with a case manager that spoke her language as well as Mosaic's attorneys and counselors helped Jiaya gain the confidence she needed to begin building her life anew. Jiaya has now moved out of Mosaic House and has found a job of her own choice.

*Name changed for safety
Jiaya's story of resilience would not be possible without supporters like you. 
Get involved in the fight against human trafficking to help others escape exploitation. Today, January 11, is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. Make a commitment today to get involved in the fight against modern day slavery.

Volunteer your time at Mosaic by teaching a class or helping with street outreach, or donate basic necessitiesfor our shelter such as cleaning supplies or hygiene items.