2022 Walk For Freedom Recap from A21
By Martin Lenkowsky
Jasmine Gonzalez understands the horror and consequences of sexual abuse. Her mother was sexually abused as a child and suffered from it for the rest of her life.
Her mother’s experience led Gonzalez to take an active role in preventing such horrific acts from ever taking place. The 28-year-old former Coral Springs resident has become involved in A21, a nonprofit organization that fights and abolishes sex and human trafficking.
Gonzalez, of Margate, will host that organization’s first Walk for Freedom in Coral Springs at Mullins Park, 10000 Ben Geiger Drive, Coral Springs, FL 33065, on Saturday, Oct. 14, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
She said the march’s purpose is to peacefully spread awareness of this dreadful, ongoing issue.
“It’s a human rights issue,” she said, adding that simultaneous to the Coral Springs march, A21 will host similar walks in other cities, states, and countries worldwide. “They will all be at the same time,” Gonzalez said.
She said the problem of sex and human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery. “This is actually happening right under your noses,” she said, adding people – including men, women, and children – are being taken against their will. “They’re being taken advantage of. Human trafficking is forced labor. We’re fighting to help free them.”
Gonzalez said her mom’s sexual abuse led her mother to a lifetime of drug abuse. “I lost my mom in 2017,” she said. “I was 21. I lost her to drug addiction.”
Seeing her mom suffer from the consequences of child sexual abuse profoundly affected Gonzalez. “I always wanted to make her proud. I believe this is part of my purpose. I want to be a vessel, a conduit for god to use.”
- Martin Lenkowsky moved to Coral Springs from NYC in 1982. He has a bachelor’s degree from Brooklyn College. He has been both writer and editor for a number of South Florida publications since 1983. He considers features writing his specialty.
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