How Violence Plagues the Poor

Our friends at the International Justice Mission made an exciting announcement this morning. Their President and CEO, Gary Haugen, released his brand new book, The Locust Effect, which details the reality of brutal, constant, and unchecked violence that confronts most of the world’s poor.

At the Freedom Center we challenge and inspire people to take courageous steps for freedom by telling stories like Gary’s, as we did in our documentary Journey to Freedom. We tell these stories so people will be empowered to join with Gary and IJM, and others like them, in attacking injustices like the scourge of violence that greets the extremely poor at nearly every turn. We tell these stories because true freedom can only come when everyone can enjoy the basic protection from violence that most of the developed world experiences.  

Violence & the Poor

Globally, the facts are stunning:

  • Nearly 30 million children, women and men are held as forced labor slaves.
  • One in 5 women will be a victim of rape or attempted rape – and sexual violence makes everyday activities like going to school, gathering water, using a communal restroom or taking public transport dangerous. 
  • The truth is that that 4 billion people - that most of the world’s poorest people – live in places where their justice systems don’t or can’t protect them from these kinds of “everyday violence.”  

Learn more by visiting Invisible: Slavery Today, the world’s first permanent, museum-quality exhibit on modern slavery, housed at the Freedom Center and developed with Free the Slaves, GoodWeave, International Justice Mission, and Polaris Project,

How can this be?

The Locust Effect gets to the most basic – and perhaps most shocking – point on page 36 of the very first chapter:

“The most fundamental systems of law and order (which communities in affluent countries consider the most basic public service) have been so useless for so long in much of the developing world that violent criminals preying upon the poor don’t give it a second thought – and tragically, much of the world has ceased to give a second thought to fixing or even understanding the breakdown”

Perhaps we’ve been lulled into a sense of complacency by the appearance of justice – by the mirage that is reflected off of the statue books and courtrooms we’ve come to associate with the Rule of Law. Gary’s book shatters the illusion and makes very clear the drastic consequences for the world’s poor.

We simply can’t accept the mere appearance of justice anymore, and The Locust Effect offers a guidepost on how to get started. 

Check out this unforgettable video that shows what the world is up against as we work together to help our poorest neighbors.  You won’t want to miss the powerful moment at 1:48 - - our fight against poverty is worth safeguarding.  Click here to see the video.

Want more? Check out The Locust Effect, by IJM’s president Gary A.  Haugen, which releases today.