Monday, October 29, 2007


Trong and Rani Hong are creating the first home in the state
for international human-trafficking victims

Survivors of sorrow shelter the exploited
By Lornet Turnbull

The Seattle Times staff reporter

As a 7-year-old girl in southern India in 1978, she was taken from her parents and sold into slavery.

At the same time, a 9-year-old boy in Southeast Asia was surviving alone in a cave, after the fishing boat on which he was fleeing Vietnam became shipwrecked.

Rani and Trong Hong would eventually be rescued from their separate childhood nightmares and brought to safety in Washington state. They would meet as adults on a blind date, fall in love and marry.

Years passed before they shared the stories of their own sad pasts with one another — he because he chose not to remember, she because she couldn't, the trauma so great it had forced to her forget.

Now, motivated by the pain of their early years to help others, they are renovating a home exclusively for victims of human trafficking — people recruited, transported and harbored for sexual exploitation or slave labor.

The U.S. government estimates that 14,500 to 17,500 victims are trafficked into the U.S. annually and about 1.2 million worldwide, although only a fraction are ever discovered.

In 2002, Washington became the first state to pass trafficking legislation and establish a task force whose member agencies, headquartered in Seattle, work with about 40 victims a year.

As a port city, Seattle is a hotbed for trafficking. Victims are often women and children — although men are trafficked, too — brought here from countries in Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe.

The Seattle Times

Human trafficking is a sad crime. Trong and Rani Hong are devoting their lives to help other victims to escape and to survive.


The Merry Widow said...

You know, some people will pooh-pooh the effort and insist that the gubmint NEEDS to get involved! But they are wrong!
It is people like the Hongs who truly help, they are motivated by love and compassion and will do a far better job than agency's and desk sitters!
Let the gubmint go after the trafficers and turn the victims over to real people!
Good piece!
Good morning, G*D bless and Maranatha!


Anonymous said...

OKAY Chomp, yo tengo un pregunta, OR as they say north of the border, "I have a question". Are you DONAL's sister? I'm pretty dense where these personal matters are concerned, just ask my wife!
Anyways I like your blog. Keep up the good work.


CHOMP said...

Good Morning, Merry Widow and Morgan, I found this story on the front of page of the morning Seattle newspaper. Another story: there were 18 people arrested in Chad for attempting to smuggle out 103 children to Europe.(story at

Si, Senor Morgan, soy Donal's hermana. Thank you for the compliment. I am glad that you like what I am doing. Donal helped with the name, and some basics. She found the alligator avatar, which I love! I use her blog as my model.

I'll be back this evening. Enjoy!
Catsala (aka Catfleas)