Hey there! My name is Rebekah Komer and I will be the first person to admit I don’t know anything about sex-trafficking. This is not me trying to be modest, or humble, or self-deprecating, but rather me stating the simple truth - I am largely uneducated when it comes to this global issue. I’ve been slowly trying to coax myself into an education by reading articles, listening to podcasts, watching documentaries, etc. etc. but it seems the more I learn, the more I realize how little I know.
This issue is HUGE. It’s daunting, it’s unnerving, and for the most part I think that’s why it’s widely ignored. Before I applied to Pedal the Pacific, I was never someone who would’ve considered themself an advocate, or an activist. Even now, I would simply say I'm a ‘Wanna-Be’ advocate. It’s hard for me to admit there’s an issue when it feels like one that’s impossible to solve.
I like things that I can see clear and obvious solutions for… Have a headache? Drink some water. Hard test coming up? Study. Need to make some extra money? Pick up a few shifts. Those things are simple. But when it comes to the crime of sex trafficking, my mind can’t comprehend it. The wheels in my head are constantly turning, thinking up solutions, but really, what can we do? What good are a handful of women riding their bikes going to do?
We are going to ride our bikes down the coast, and it will likely be embarrassingly difficult for us - but really that’s the least important part of our journey. Our bikes will hopefully lead to conversations with strangers and also with those we’ve known our whole lives. Our bikes will hopefully spark support both through word of mouth and through finances. Then, finally, that support will go to the people who are the most important part of this ride, those affected by sex trafficking and those who are experts in doing something about it.
What I'm realizing is that we have almost nothing to do with it. That’s why I'm so thankful that Pedal the Pacific partners with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and The Refuge for DMST, two incredible organizations that actually know what they are doing. These organizations consist of literal experts who know what preventative measures are affective, who know how to help survivors of sex trafficking, and will put whatever money we end up raising towards incredible and efficient use. I’m so thankful those decisions aren’t up to me, I’m grateful for real-life advocates who are no longer Wanna-Be's like me, and I’m thankful to be such a minuscule part of this process.
I’m hopeful that one day I’ll look back and realize how much knowledge I've gained, while also realizing how much progress we’ve made. I’m hopeful for the days we will be able to celebrate victories over sex trafficking, and looking forward to the days when I’ll see solutions in action. I’m praying those days come quickly and that survivors everywhere are able to taste freedom and healing.
I personally want to ask you to join us. Don’t feel unqualified, because you are so not alone! We are all so incredibly unqualified and unprepared to tackle this issue - but that’s the whole point! I will officially take the lead as the least qualified person here, so don’t be afraid to join our ranks haha! We all have to start somewhere and we can’t let the depth of the valley keep us from trying. I hope to see you posting, sharing, riding with us with Pedal in Place, or dropping a fat check for the cause (lol). But for real, thanks for being here, we are glad to have you :)
- Rebekah Komer