While Mandy was working het Zandpad, me and some others of our league used to live there. She was our neighbor without us even knowing it. At this moment, I ride my bicycle three times a week across het Zandpad to get to physical therapy. Many of the Dolls live in the neighborhood not far away. This means sex trafficking happens right under our noses. An estimated 85% of the prostitutes working at het Zandpad are believed to be the victim of sex trafficking. (Link: http://www.rtvutrecht.nl/nieuws/892162) This could mean hundreds of rapes take place in our back yards. This is the reason why Dom City Dolls has committed themselves taking on this project and bring awareness together with Melissa “Sum Mo Payne” and Libby “PBR“.
Here are some examples of sex trafficking throughout the Netherlands; In the province of Limburg not long ago a couple of girls with an intellectual disability were victims of loverboys (Link: http://www.nd.nl/artikelen/2012/juli/14/pooiers-ronselen-gehandicapten. The term loverboy has nothing to do with being nice and lovable as a boy. It is just a different name for the same concept. Limburg has the highest density of sex clubs and massage salons. In Eindhoven they think that at least 50% of the women involved in prostitution are victims of international sex trafficking (Link: http://nos.nl/artikel/355022-actie-mensenhandel-eindhoven.html. Groningen has two neighborhoods, de Nieuwstad and de Muurstraat of which are believed to host victims of sex trafficking. The best known red light district of the Netherlands must be the Wallen in Amsterdam. Who hasn’t been there as a tourist gawking at the women behind the windows? Did you see sex trafficking happening? Apparently not. But it’s there. (Link: http://nieuwsuur.nl/video/426662-naar-de-bron-van-mensenhandel.html) All links are in Dutch.
So why should you commit? First of all this is something that affects us all. Roller Derby is a place where women are allowed to be strong and independent. We choose freely to get hit, in a legal way I daresay. We have each others backs if something happens. We are self confident and if we’re not we learn how to be through the game. Therefore we are less vulnerable. And if we are so strong, we should have their backs.
Second, from north to south we find victims. In every city hosting a roller derby league sex trafficking takes place. It stays invisible. We should bring awareness to educate the masses. We should raise funds to help the victims. Our skating route takes us from north to south through the Netherlands, visiting as much leagues as we can.
Now you know why you should commit. But how can you commit? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to help out in any way, organize fundraisers in your town, give us shelter or food, and above all help raise awareness in a combined effort. All will be celebrated in the end with a boot camp in Utrecht! Many more details will follow so stick with us.