Albert Einstein once said that the world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.
UNICEF estimates that two million children are sexually exploited every year, most of whom are girls. 1.2 million of those are trafficked into sexual slavery under the age of 16.
The facts are appalling, but one man is taking Einstein’s words of wisdom to heart.
Jeff Brodsky has walked with a purpose, exposing his heart and his feet to the pain felt by children all over the world, devoting his life to the rescue, reintegration, and prevention of children forced into the sex trade. That fight has taken him all over the world.
“I remember turning to my wife on night and saying, ‘My life is over.’” Brodsky said about the day he began his journey. “I said, ‘If this is really happening to these children, I have to do something, I have to fight this.’ When I saw what was happening to children being used in the most heinous, vial way imaginable.”
Since 2007, Brodsky and his organization, Joy International, have helped nearly 600 children, from the young age of 4 and beyond.
“Today is 1,487 days,” Brodsky said. “Yes, I’m counting. I had to do it, I had to. They’re spit on, urinated on, beaten, even worse things that I cannot even talk about.”
On any given day, the U.S. Department of Justice says there are up to 300,000 children trafficked across the country, even here in Alaska. It’s a reality that Tamara Rothman with Covenant House has seen first-hand.
“We have young women here who do get put through things like this, and it’s obvious that it’s nothing they chose in their lives, and it’s hard to break the cycle once it’s begun,” Rothman said. “It’s at the transit center, it’s at the park next to the performing arts center, it’s in the malls.”
Brodsky is leading a “Break the Chains” weekend here in Alaska, to share Joy International’s mission of setting children free from sex slavery, a trade Brodsky hopes to put an end to.
“It’s very simple,” Brodsky said. “One is too much. One is too much, if one girl is being exploited, it’s too much, and there’s definitely more than one. We have to do something about it.”
The Break the Chains weekend continues Sunday from 10 a.m. to noon, a free presentation that will be held at Teeland Middle School in Wasilla.