1000K in 10 Days – Sameena van der Mijden, Gerben Oevermans
From 16 to 26 June 2021 these two Dutch ultrarunners will run 1000km nonstop through the Netherlands. Every day, boys and girls are (online) recruited, assaulted, abused and thrown away like a piece of waste for the next customer in the dark world of forced prostitution and human trafficking.
“When I think about it, I can still see myself lying there. On a dirty mattress in filthy apartments, cold basement boxes, sometimes in the rain and cold in remote parking places or in the ‘luxury’ of a warmer hotel room where all the wishes and lurid wishes of a customer had to be put into practice. Dazed by drugs, pain and with the continuous feeling of shame and filth,” Sameena says.
Running has helped her to deal with the demons of the past, the emotions, the physical pain, the drugs and even the eating disorder Anorexia. She gradually got the self-confidence to combat the taboo surrounding human trafficking and sexual violence through sports.
“I find it bizarre that these practices can still (and increasingly) take place. Since 2016, I have been grateful to contribute to policy, approach and legislation, which is of course very important. But I miss the real action for the victims. Every day extra in this dark hell there is one too many! The fact that the developments are going so slowly sometimes frustrates me. I know better than anyone what it is like to survive continuously and endure the pain. Every day and every customer again.”
1000K in 10 Days supports The Christian organization ‘Tot Heil des Volks’, which offers exit programs for prostitutes who want to get out of the exploitative situation immediately.