Nikki Junker and Barbie Magoffin were regular Change.org members when they came across Sara Kruzan's tragic story on the site. They were shocked to learn she had been imprisoned most of her life -- three years by a sex trafficker and sixteen years by the state of California. But Junker, a trafficking survivor and Magoffin, her friend and colleague, weren't content with just signing a petition for Sara's release. So they're organizing a national social and traditional media blitz on December 16, aimed at Governor Schwarzenegger, and asking him to release Sara Kruzan with time served. Will you add your voice to the tens of thousands demanding freedom for Sara Kruzan? For those not familiar with Sara's story, she was trafficked into prostitution at 13 by a 33-year-old pimp named G.G. Seven nights a week for three years, Sara was raped by strangers so G.G. could make money. She was traumatized, abused, and frightened. When she was just 16, and with no other perceivable way out of sexual slavery, Sara shot G.G. When she went to trial, however, there was no consideration of her young age, the severe emotional and physical trauma she'd suffered, or her status as a victim of a horrific crime. She was tried as an adult and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
When Nikki Junker read this story, she was no stranger to anti-trafficking activism. Having survived trafficking as a teen herself, she founded With More Than Purpose, a non-profit organization which aims to provide education to prevent commercial sexual exploitation and provide rehabilitation to those who have survived trafficking. Both Junker and her colleague Magoffin knew the injustices Sara has suffered were something they and their organization wanted to change. So they got to work organizing friends, supporters, and anyone who would listen to bombard Governor Schwarzenegger with supportive messages for Sara's release.
Sara was 16 when she snapped and shot her trafficker, and she has now been in prison for 16 years. That's why Junker and Magoffin chose December 16 as the day to ask anyone in the country who cares about freedom and justice to contact Governor Schwarzenegger via phone, Twitter, carrier pigeon or any other form of communication and ask him to grant Sara clemency and release her with time served. Junker, having survived an ordeal similar to Sara's, says clemency with time served is the only just conclusion to this tragedy. As she stated in a letter to Governor Schwarzenegger,
Unfortunately, there are many who have not and will not survive [child sex trafficking]. Ms. Kruzan did. She only survived because her captor was stopped. I have read her case and understand what transpired the night of her pimp’s death. That being said, I can state, from the perspective of someone who understands the mindset of a young girl being held in the conditions of sexual slavery, the young Sara Kruzan acted in the only way she could.
You can find out more information about how to participate in the campaign on their Facebook page, including sample scripts for phone calls and tweets. And check back here on Thursday, December 16 for more details about how you can get in touch with Governor Schwarzenegger.
Let's help create a sense of urgency for Sara Kruzan's freedom by making sure Governor Schwarzenegger knows she, and the hundreds of thousands of other young people suffering in sex trafficking, have our support.