The facts about human trafficking are alarming and very real. The sad truth is here in our very own country, people are being bought, sold and smuggled—they are called “modern-day salves.”
Did you know that Human Trafficking is one of the fastest growing forms of crime? And it’s not just happening in other countries like in the film “Taken.” Nope, it’s happening in our very own neighborhoods, special events and cities all over the United States. These Human Trafficking victims are living life in misery. When they were originally promised a more glamorous life than they had—but the sad truth is, they are beaten, starved and forced to work as prostitutes. Victims can also be taken and placed into other job markets such as, domestic an factory workers with little or no pay, period.
There are over 29.8 million people that become victims of Human Trafficking. Here’s a comparison for you to imagine… In the 1980’s an experiment was done to see how many people it would take to make a chain from New York to California (Hands Across America). It only took 6.5 million people—while that’s quite a lot of people, it’s a super scary statistic compared to how many individuals are becoming victims of Human Trafficking.
And every 30 seconds a person becomes a victim of Human Trafficking. The scariest fact about it all is…. There are so many people out there who don’t know where it’s happening, it’s happening right where you are, at this very moment—it could be happening in your very own neighborhood.
Human Trafficking is on the rise and it’s time to start opening the eyes of those around us because it could be you, it could be your little sister or brother. Both men and women are trafficked in and out of the United States.
Luckily, writer and director Tony Gapastione is ready to tackle the cause with his film “Neighbor.” The film is about a homeless man who witnesses a kidnapping and when he hunts down the perpetrator, he uncovers a little secret in Suburbia. And what a better way to raise awareness—don’t you think?
Tony is a great guy, with a huge heart and he makes it very clear how much this issue and film means to him, stating:
“Appearances are not always what they seem. We easily make judgments based on people’s exteriors. We don’t always expect CEO’s to wear flip flops or criminals to wear white collars and ties. And we might never expect a guy who sleeps in an alley to be the very one who saves our life.
I wrote this film because I was surprised by the friendships I made in unexpected places. I found allies, friends, and “neighbors” in people who were different than me, people who had no place to call home. I was impacted by the stories of people I might have written off or overlooked. These stories of humanity, connection and justice, touched me deeply and illuminated issues I often swept under the rug.
I wanted to write and direct this story, for my sophomore film project, to bring light into a dark place: human trafficking. The stealing, harboring, objectifying, and horrendous abuse of human beings, (many who are young children and women), is an ugly reality.
Human trafficking is happening right under our noses, in our beautifully landscaped, white collared, American neighborhoods. We need to talk about it. And we can do something about it. We can bring change if we are willing to take a stand. I am called to affect change by telling stories. I hope this film starts conversations that lead to actions, that lead to justice. I hope you will stand with me and see it come to completion. “
PCG had the awesome opportunity to meet up with director and writer Tony Gapastione and discuss the issue of Human Trafficking and his film “Neighbor,” which you can check out on Facebook. And don’t forget to check back because we have a full-length interview with Tony and what this film means to him, in the mean time, check out the facts below and quick sneak peek at his advice on how we can get ourselves involved in catching and putting a stop to this terrible crime.
THE FACTS AND A SNEAK PEEK AT OUR INTERVIEW WITH TONY GAPASTIONE