It is 10 minutes until 1 AM on Sunday morning. I just finished watching The Long Night by Tim Matsui. I literally sat here for an hour without moving – occasionally pausing the movie to take breaths to be able to continue watching. I am numb. I was unaware that child sex trafficking was occurring in the United States. I was unaware that most minors who live the life of prostitution are not there of their own accord. This isn’t Pretty Woman. No rich businessman is going to come rescue them.
Tim Matsui won the inaugural Women’s Initiative Photography Grant from the Alexia Foundation. With this grant, Tim Matsui began to document the grassroots effort to bring awareness to minor sex trafficking in the United States. As he worked on the project, it became more than a photo story – The Long Night Movie was born.
The Long Night is a documentary that depicts the lives of two girls in the sex trade. These two girls come from different lifestyles and backgrounds, but both are minors in the sex trade. One managed to get out; the other did not.
The movie not only follows Natalie and Lisa, but it also follows Natalie’s parents and their search for their runaway daughter. It also follows Andy, Brian, and Joel – three cops in the Seattle area that have been on the front lines in the fight against underage prostitution. These three cops refused to sit back and just do their jobs. They began to learn the stories of the girls they arrested and developed a resource that can get them the help they need – drug and alcohol rehabilitation, GEDs, housing, clothing, food, and a support system to keep them from returning to their old lives in the sex trade.
I encourage you to watch this documentary – not to glorify underage prostitution, but to make you aware that it does occur – more than likely in your area – and to help make you think of ways you can become involved.
Ways you can help:
- Watch The Long Night movie
- Share the movie with friends, family, and your local officials (think mayor, police chief, PTA, etc)
- Donate supplies to local victim services programs
- Teach your daughters to have self-esteem and self-worth
- Teach your sons how to treat women with respect
For more information:
- The Long Night movie
- The Long Night Movie Facebook Page
- Leaving the Life Facebook Page
- Leaving the Life Webpage
I hope you will take an hour out of your weekend to watch this movie. I am going to go hug my children and head to bed. Goodnight.
I wrote this post as part of The Global Team of 200, a highly specialized group of members of Mom Bloggers for Social Good that concentrates on issues involving women and girls, children, world hunger and maternal health.
Our Motto: Individually we are all powerful. Together we can change the world. We believe in the power of collective action to help others and believe in ourselves to make this world a better place for our children and the world’s children.
All information used with permission.