Author Cathy Gohlke & Does Slavery Exist Today?

My guest today is Author Cathy Gohlke and she shares her knowledge of human trafficking or modern slavery. And she’s offering to give away a copy of her latest book that deals with this in its historical perspective. There has never been a dearth of people willing to use others. Here’s Cathy:

“I was born in a house that my great aunt believed was used as a hiding place for slaves escaping along the Underground Railroad before the Civil War.  I grew up in the South, during turbulent years of the Civil Rights movement.  I remember the day Martin Luther King, Jr. marched on Washington, and the day he was assassinated.  Through all of that I thought that “slavery” was history, a thing of the past—until I learned that today there are far more people enslaved than there were at the height of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

Men, women and children trapped behind closed doors, held in slave labor camps, houses, warehouses, brothels, cages—the mind can barely comprehend the conditions or the horrors of forced prostitution, pornography, the selling of human flesh for sex, slave labor, the selling of body parts, organs, and fetuses.

Women and children—even very young children—are prime targets. I read recently that the average span of monetary value to their “owner”—before disease or death sets in—is just over three years.  What happens to the child or woman after that does not concern predators. Human beings are considered cheap, and expendable.  Human trafficking is heart wrenching, heart breaking in the extreme.

It ranks second only to drug trafficking as the world’s most lucrative crime.  And it is everywhere—across the world and across the street in our United States.

Numerous organizations have joined forces to fight this travesty.  We—mothers, daughters, sisters, friends, the church—can join with them, partner with them, learn from them, and raise a clamor that must be heard—a symphony demanding change.

Please visit to find a list of organizations that are already active and books and films that help raise awareness.  If you know of more, please share them so they may be added to this list.  While none of us can do everything, we can each to something to help.

 The sanctity of life is a truth we all hold dear, and that Maureen O’Reilly, the heroine in Band of Sisters, embraced and fought for.

To purchase, click here. Band of Sisters

Maureen and her sister escape Ireland and flee to the U.S. in hopes of a better life.  Beginning at Ellis Island, Maureen finds herself caught in a tangled web of deceit and desperation, and learns that predators are all too eager to make her and other vulnerable women dependent on them.  But when Maureen bands with others—women determined to follow in Jesus’ steps and make a difference, and men willing to help—she discovers that there is hope beyond human slavery.

Key to Maureen’s journey is the discovery that God truly loves and forgives her, and that He counts each life precious—so precious that He sent His Son to redeem it.  But it takes the hands and feet of Christ in the world—women and men who believe—to show her the way.”–Cathy

I am shocked by the callousness of many human beings. But so glad that there are people trying to help the victims of this modern slavery. To enter the drawing, leave a comment.

Question: Why do you think most Americans don’t know about this problem?–Lyn
PS-Last week’s winners Terri Reed’s two books:
Jes Swak and Debra Marvin
And the winner of Virginia Smith’s Amish book is Julie Wells. Congrats!



About Lyn Cote

Lyn Cote welcomes other authors to her "Strong Women, Brave Stories" blog to share stories of women who triumph over the challenges common to all women.
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7 Responses to Author Cathy Gohlke & Does Slavery Exist Today?

  1. Jes Swaks says:

    I agree with Cathy that “the work being done needs more press”. I have to confess that until recently I was one of the people who was unaware of human trafficking and the extent of it. I’m thankful that there are organizations such as the International Justice Mission who are working to help victims and people like Cathy who are using their sphere of influence to make others more aware of human trafficking.

  2. i have to agree with what already has been said…Americans (and Canadians) in general, are too self-centered and if it doesn’t touch me, it doesn’t matter; it couldn’t happen here; and because the media doesn’t cover it, it must not exist. We need authors to write about it and bloggers to review them! Thanks Lyn and Cathy

  3. Carol Gehringer says:

    I agree — it is so easy to keep a narrow vision — as long as me and mine are safe (or untouched by this issue), then it doesn’t exist.

    We like to believe that we are enlightened and not blind to the evil around us, but the truth is we are blinded, by the media, by society, by our wishful thinking. We are just as bad as the Germans who lived under Hilter’s rule and the Americans who lived in the mid-1860s when slavery was the norm.

    Someone once said “Unless we stand together, we shall surely fall together.” We need to recognize that human life is precious to God from the moment of its conception to every walk of life. Until that happens, we won’t see change.

  4. Cathy Gohlke says:

    I agree, Linda. There’s little coverage and most of what I’ve seen has been done in documentary form through PBS. One way I’ve learned more of what is going on in the world is by listing “human trafficking” on Google Alerts. The information that comes through is heart breaking and sometimes infuriating. So much needs to be done, and the work being done needs more press. I meet people who are surprised that human trafficking even exists. I meet others who say, “I want to help, but it’s so big. I wouldn’t know where to begin.” Beginning with one person on one day is taking a first step.

    God bless!

  5. Linda says:

    Americans don’t know because of our present media outlets.
    I’m not even sure if Foxnews has written about it.

  6. Jean Marie says:

    I believe most don’t want to believe slavery is still happening because sometimes it’s easier to turn a blind eye then to have to stir the pot of stink and do something about it. Also sometimes it’s easier to believe it’s only in the “big cities” instead of in our own back yards. In either case, we as CHRISTIANS should band together both men & women and stand up for those that are victums of this awful abuse.

  7. Jennifer says:

    Why do you think most Americans don’t know about this problem?
    I think it is in large part due to the sin of selfishness in our society. As long as me and mine are happy and safe and “it” (whatever “it” may be) doesn’t effect us then we are good – seems to be the philosophy of the day.
    Also, I think Americans know about this issue. I think we just choose not to deal with it, because we are afraid of the sacrifices it may call upon in our own lives to become involved in ministry to those involved in these kinds of situations.