This summer, celebrities, leaders in the entertainment industry, and respected members of the community joined survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking at the beautiful Crescent Hotel in Beverly Hills for an intellectual salon to celebrate World Day Against Human Trafficking. Trueheart Events Founder Amy Malin and the Tronie Foundation co-hosted this very special event to enlighten leaders in Hollywood on how they can play an important role in helping to eradicate human trafficking and domestic violence.
Corey Feldman, actor, musician, and one of our Teen magazine obsessions in the 80’s, is a survivor of child abuse and sexual assault. Feldman shared his insights about what it was like to be an exploited child, before introducing guest speaker Rani Hong. Rani Hong, co-founder of the non-profit The Tronie Foundation, a child trafficking survivor and a special advisor to the United Nations, shared her remarkable story with guests and discussed how the Tronie Foundation is using the voices of survivors of human trafficking to speak out and abolish slavery once and for all. Rani showed guests a powerful clip from her segment on “The Oprah Winfrey Show”, which detailed her story of being sold into slavery in India at the age of seven. Rani also discussed the amazing work her non-profit the Tronie Foundation is doing with their comic book project to educate children all over the world about the dangers of human trafficking and exploitation and their Freedom Seal project to educate consumers about global companies who don’t use slave labor or unfair work practices in their supply chain.
Last year Rani addressed the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York City. Rani’s goal was to give a voice to the continued plight of millions of enslaved people throughout the world, in part through the designation of a day being formally set aside in which the world recognizes these issues, and reminds the world of the need to protect the rights of victims of human trafficking. In response to Rani’s efforts, the United Nations designated July 30th as World Day Against Trafficking In Persons.
“The importance of this issue has been brought into renewed international attention with the recent kidnappings in Nigeria and the unaccompanied minors at the United States’ borders. This is why I’m telling my story today. There are millions of other individuals, like that little girl I was — imprisoned, enslaved, and silenced — unable to tell their stories. I speak for those without a voice. I want to urge the entertainment industry to take an active role in the fight against the modern day form of slavery,” said Rani Hong.
After Rani spoke, Trueheart Events partner Amy Malin, shared her powerful story of being a survival of sexual assault, domestic violence and exploitation. Please watch her harrowing video and compassionate speech HERE. We have worked with Amy for years and always admired the family she created, a beautiful baby, loving husband and now an adopted little girl. We had no idea the horrible history she endured. “My biggest passion (other than being a great Mama and a great wife) is using my story of survival to connect with other survivors and also to help prevent people from becoming victims of violence.” – Amy Malin
As you can imagine, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room when Amy opened up about the torture she endured as someone’s prisoner for a year when she was just eighteen years old. Amy offered a plan of action to the room of Hollywood insiders regarding the steps they can take to help eradicate domestic violence and human trafficking.
Amy urged movie producers to make sure that they aren’t doing business with slave lords and with companies that use unfair work practices. Amy also said that Hollywood can help shine a spotlight on the issues of domestic violence and human trafficking by showcasing these important stories in film and on TV by featuring strong, powerful and resilient female heroes that are survivors.
Actress and survivor AnnaLynne McCord echoed Amy’s remarks and said the time to tell the stories of survivors is now. Amy also urged the crowd to blacklist industry titans who are convicted of abuse and sexual assault instead of celebrating them and giving them awards for their work. Amy and AnnaLynne announced their plan to tour the country together this year to speak to college students about domestic violence. Both women are excited to share their stories of survival as cautionary tales to young women and to offer tips to help keep vulnerable and susceptible college students safe from harm. Since Amy and AnnaLynne have gone public with their stories of survival, both women have offered support to many survivors of violence around the world that have reached out to them.
“I am so honored and excited to partner with my soul survivor sister AnnaLynne McCord and to have the opportunity to speak to our nation’s youth about the very important issue of domestic violence. I know that AnnaLynne and I will be able to offer other survivors hope for a better life and a much-needed community of support. As we go to the frontlines, where it is reported that at least 1 in 4 college women will be the victim of a sexual assault during her academic career, we are hopeful that we can help prevent other young women from becoming another statistic. No campus is immune to this vicious plague on humanity and we’re determined to do our part to stop the violence,” said domestic violence advocate and speaker Amy Malin.
Some of Hollywood’s brightest stars including AnnaLynne McCord (“90210”), Chloe Flower (classical pianist), Corey Feldman (“Goonies”), Hill Harper (“CSI: New York”), Nestor Serrano (“24”) and Ryan Devlin (MTV’s ”Are You The One?”) joined leaders in the entertainment industry and government officials at the event to show their support for survivors of human trafficking and domestic violence. Guests enjoyed gourmet cuisine generously catered by the team at the Crescent Hotel and specialty cocktails curated by DAMA Tequila.
We hope you share these tales of survival to bring awareness to eradicating domestic violence and human trafficking, and to bring strength to others. Emotional scars are forever. Even in 2014, slavery is still a problem.