Take a moment to envision this with me:
“Imagine that you are in a dark basement, you’ve been in here for days for back-talking, and you only get to come out when it is time to perform. You can’t see anything, but you know any minute now you will be sold for about $90 dollars to your twentieth client of the night. You don’t dare say no to this, for fear that your pimp will brutally beat you and practically leave you for dead. You have lost all control over your life, your money, and who you give your body and soul away to. Suddenly, you hear yelling, you figure it must be your turn, but this time, to your surprise you realize that the person who came to get you was not your pimp, but instead, a cop. All because someone recognized the fear in your eyes and the inconsistency of your story today in town, and called for help.”
This is life for many in America and around the world.
Many of you may have heard in recent years that the super bowl is the largest human trafficking incident in the United States. That is true. Not only that, but according to the Polaris Project, 41% of sex trafficking cases, referenced US citizens as victims.
I want to challenge the notion that sex trafficking only occurs in other countries. Many of you are probably thinking, how could it happen here, we abolished slavery hundreds of years ago?
Slavery didn’t end, it just changed forms.
Would you believe that a case was actually reported in Greenville a few years ago which helped spur an intense motivation for the Set Free Movement and Eden’s Glory? A young girl came into town and was very skiddish and inconsistent in her story as she went to different businesses. Because our citizens did not know how to spot a sex trafficking victim, her pimp took her away in a big white van before anyone could call for help.
It is unfathomable that that according the Covering House located in St. Louis, the average victim is expected to have sex 20 to 48 times per day and that the average entry age for a sex slave is 13 years old.
Those who are at risk are: runaways from abusive households, foster children, undocumented immigrants, victims of poverty, and those who are searching for a better life
Why can’t the girls just leave we ask? Well, it’s not that simple. Some girls are literally kept in cages. They are also threatened and controlled by their pimps and are often beaten severely to keep them obedient. Others do not know they are victims; it has become the only life they know.
Also keep in mind that while victims are typically female, males can be victims of trafficking too. In fact, according the study of John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 50% of sexually trafficked children are boys.
So how can we make sure that this does not happen again? How can we stop Sex slavery here in America and other countries? Others of you may be wondering, could this happen to me?
The plan is to become educated about the signs that someone may be a sex trafficking victim, and if you even have a hint of unease about this, follow your gut and call for help. The human trafficking hotline is 1-888-3737-888
Some signs include:
-avoiding eye contact
-inconsistent in the story they tell
-accompanied by a controlling person and cannot speak on their behalf
-live and work in the same place
Get involved in the organizations that are already fighting this evil. Get more information from organizations such as Love 146, A21, Abolition International, Red Thread Movement, Set Free Movement and Polaris Project.
Another thing is to absolutely say no to watching pornography. Not only does it degrade, devalue, and give unrealistic expectations, it often uses sex slaves. It’s supply and demand people. If no one watches, there wont be a need to produce it. If its not being produced, the need for slaves decreases.
One final thing, PRAY! “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”
One final question that you may ask is, what will I gain from fighting modern day slavery? Firstly, you would be a living example of the Gospel of Jesus by reaching out to the oppressed. You could have a sense of purpose knowing that you are striving for the things that break God’s heart. You would have a peace of mind knowing that you are making a difference in the lives of those who are hurting.
Like Martin Luther King Jr once said, “ Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.”