Each year, an estimated 200,000 American youth, primarily girls, are at high risk to falling prey to a form of human trafficking called sex trafficking. This is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world. The fact is, traffickers, known as pimps, have declared war on the American youth. For pimps, teens are not human beings but property; they see teens simply as a means to gain profit. The average age of entry into prostitution in the U.S. is 12 to 14 years old.
How was Shoe Revolt formed?
Shoe Revolt was founded by an amazing women, named Ateba Crocker. Ateba was a victim of sexual abuse as a child by her father. She, like many women who are sexually exploited have this painful past that has encouraged a life of promiscuity and lack of self-worth. As a teen she drank frequently and gave her body away. After giving birth to her son Ateba was alone and needed to support herself and her child and signed on with an escort service.
“At that time the state that I was in, I really didn’t care about myself. I was having sex with people anyway. I just wasn’t getting paid for it. So I thought to myself, ‘I really need this money. I am going to stay and see what happens,’” Ateba said. (credit to cbn.com)
Ateba Crocker knows that women and girls want to feel confident and beautiful in the clothes and shoes they wear, a feeling that was taken away from her at a young age.
Ateba went on to receiving her master’s degree, working for the Nike Corporation, having a family and teaching at a university. She then decided it was time for her to help other girls and women who have fallen victim to sexual abuse, human trafficking and prostitution and this is where Shoe Revolt begins….
This is best described by Ateba to the examiner.com
Women love shoes. I mean when you put your favorite shoes on your feet you can’t help but feel and look like a new or REAL WOMAN.
I love shoes. I love pretty shoes. I love high heel shoes and flat shoes..
I wanted to find a way to communicate (with other women) to connect the heart of women to the human trafficking issue. A real “shoeista”.
I wanted that anger times 200% more to come out of every woman that hears about this injustice against someone that could be her sister or daughter. I wanted her to get even angrier when she hears that it is happening here on her domestic soil.
When this happens a REVOLT begins…
What audience is more likely to buy shoes than something else?
Definitely women! We would love to get more men involved, but women and girls tend to be the bigger “shoeista”.
How might shoes open the doors or conversations about HT?
Shoes bring such a unique card to the table. We all need shoes. Whether it is the person who is in need of shoes or the person that collects hundreds of pairs. It’s simple. “The answer is under our feet.” We are not just asking for people to donate their money. We’re giving them a way to obtain something they already need or want but making a difference with their purchase. Getting connected and educated.
You have received shoe donations from several celebrities. How do you make those connections and what is some of the feedback you have received about the cause?
Our connections are made in various ways, starting with finding celebrities who are already making their voice known as an advocate for Human Trafficking. Actress Julia Ormond has recently donated 5 pairs of shoes to SR including her riding boots from Legends of the Fall which will be auctioned in January for Human Trafficking month. In 2005, she was named a United Nations ambassador against human trafficking. These are the type of celebrities that are so valuable to our cause.
We also want to bring awareness to the cause at hand and realize the celebrity voice is HUGE. We not only want to bring them on board and open their eyes, but for them to encourage their followers and fan bases to be aware, recognize the signs and to just be educated. For this we chose celebs that are well known, but also don’t have background that will bring negative or hypocritical publicity to what we are trying to achieve. Our feedback so far has been very positive. Many of the celebs we have contacted say that what we are doing is great and they’d love to contribute. We recently even had an independent movie contact us and want to donate their celebs shoes after their premiere.
Be informed. That is the biggest thing. We can’t create change without having knowledge about what the issues is. Share with family, friends and colleagues. Our voice is one of our biggest weapons. Volunteer. Volunteer with Shoe Revolt our or other programs that are working toward raising awareness or doing restorative work with victims. REPORT all suspected human trafficking activity to 888-3737-888. Donate to programs in need or donate your new or gently used shoes to Shoe Revolt’s online boutique.
“to refuse to obey the constraints imposed by another, to rise up against the injustice of human trafficking, to break the shackles of the abuse, to get out of line, to rock the boat, to take up arms, to turn against the belief that says that girls in the sex industry don’t matter.”
After a year of success Shoe Revolt is expanding by creating youth-led Teen Revolt Chapters across the nation for maximum social impact. The mission of Teen Revolt is to educate, engage, and empower teens to generate large-scale social impact, allowing more teens to be reached and educated quicker about the hidden danger of sex trafficking, the tactics and the red flags that a peer may be in danger. Teen Revolt is student-led dedicated to raising awareness among teens and funds for programs in their local community that rescue and restore victims.
For more information: www.shoerevolt.org
SR video: http://vimeo.com/41957698#
Fashion Blog: http://shoerevolt.tumblr.com/
Who can help & how: http://www.shoerevolt.org/join-the-revolt/shoeista/