British, French and U.S. teams are working to rescue hundreds of kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls who were taken by an extremist Islamic group.
In North Texas and other parts of the country, voices are being raised with one message: "Bring back our girls."
“It just brings back memories of when I lived there with my husband,” said Nigerian native Chicka Anyiam.
Anyiam now practices law in Dallas.
“They’re in school; they have no security whatsoever,” she said. “They are just depending on the grace of God day to day.”
Dallas Judge Julia Hayes created a Facebook page encouraging other women to lift their voices in support of the Nigerian girls.
“To be faced with this unimaginable horror of being a mother, ‘cause I’m a mother as well, of not seeing my child, it’s a human rights violation,” said Hayes. “It’s a human rights issue.”
The girls were kidnapped by Islamic extremist group Boko Haram. The group’s leader has said he's been commanded by Allah to sell the women and girls.
“A lot of my work has centered around the protection against various forms of sexualized violence, particularly as it relates to girls and women,” said Dr. Keri Day, associate professor of theology and social ethics at TCU.
Day says the girls, if they have not, will be human trafficked into the sex trade.
“This is not just an issue of justice and the protection of Nigerian girls, but this is also an issue of how we will protect our own young women and girls,” said Day.
For nearly 300 Nigerian girls, some fear it may be too late.
“It breaks my heart to say at this point the possibility of recovering those girls is grown dimmer and dimmer, you know, as the days pass,” said Anyiam.
There will be rally Sunday to show local support for the Nigerian school girls from 3 to 5 p.m. at Dallas City Hall.
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