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April 14th, 2011
04:02 PM ET

Saving a Stranger from Slavery

Photo courtesy Daniel Reetz

Right now, imagine you are reading a plea for help from someone you have never met. He believes the two women in this photo are about to be forced into a life of prostitution.

Do you carry along as usual? Should you write back with advice? Or do you take action?

Last May, a tale of suspected human trafficking unfolded in real time on MetaFilter.com. A regular user of the community weblog started a thread called, "Help me help my friend in DC."

Over the next 26 hours, Daniel Reetz received offers of assistance and links to other resources. He points out that all of this poured in from anonymous Internet users.

And one of those strangers, Kathrine Hinds, opened up her home to two young Russian women thought to be targeted by human traffickers.

Hinds and others on the blog believed those two young women were going to be tricked into sexual slavery. And they did what they could to stop that from happening.

It's an incredible story that shows we each have the power to halt this terrible practice. Reetz raised the alarm. Hinds heard it and responded. How far would you go to save a stranger?

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