Sex trafficking is one of the biggest social justice issues we are currently facing and I’m giving you four ways to help stop it in your everyday life. It’s not as hard as you think.
I recently heard a seasoned detective speak for more than two hours about sex trafficking in the county next to mine. She has more than ten years of experience working in this area and had countless heartbreaking stories.
From the time I sat down until we walked out of the meeting my pen never left the paper.
The information was so overwhelming and I knew I needed to write it down in order to process it more fully later.
When I got home, my husband looked at me and said, “Boil it down to two highlights. What would they be?” Here’s what I said:
- I heard the ages 13, 14, and 15 over and over and over again.
- A trafficker will spend up to 2 years pursuing and grooming a victim. As a result, he can sell her 10-30 times per night. 80% of the time it starts on social media.
Above all, those are the two things I still remain stunned by.
First, let’s talk about sex traffickers:
- Many traffickers are good looking, charismatic, articulate, muscular and appear to be “nice”.
- Traffickers can be men or women. Women traffickers are typically the meanest type.
- They have honed a skill and are very good at it.
- Everything boils down to control over the victim and here’s how they get it:
- DRUGS – many victims are shot up with drugs against their will, then forced to meet a quota to get more drugs their bodies crave.
- Physical violence
- Threats to hurt their loved ones
- Debt bondage
- Sometimes sex trafficking is a family business. Boys are raised to believe girls are sex objects that should be sold, likewise, girls are raised to believe they are only good for sex. It is a culture.
Now, let’s talk about high-risk victims:
- Boys are underrepresented and are trafficked
- Runaways and homeless kids are an easy target
- People looking for freedom in America or from their family
- Disabled people
- People with mental health issues
- Undocumented people
- People with addiction issues – recruiting often happens at NA & AA facilities and rehab clinics
- Prior trauma or abuse create vulnerability
- Anyone labeled a “trouble maker” by society
The common motto among sex traffickers is, “Promise her heaven. Take her to hell.”
Certainly, this is what traffickers do. They promise victims everything they ever wanted and then give them a little of it to make it feel real. After that, they take them to straight hell.
I know this is heavy and these words are difficult to read. Maybe you don’t want to know anymore, but friend, please don’t turn away.
Take the anger, hurt and pain you feel and use it to fire you up to raise awareness and be a light in the darkness.
What to be a part of the solution?
4 ways you can help stop sex trafficking:
- Do you know a kid that falls in 1 or more of those high-risk categories? Be their place of safety, the adult they can trust to love them no matter what.
- Volunteer at organizations like Big Brothers, Big Sisters who are working to create safety for at-risk teens. 77% of kids in foster care will be trafficked.
- Educate every young person you know about the dangers of putting too much information on social media. Urge them to use private profiles and skip the hashtags.
- Keep your eyes open – be aware of the people around you. If you see a person in a gas station with multiple young girls who won’t look up, seem overly submissive or look malnourished CALL THE POLICE. Similarly, when you see something that doesn’t look or feel right it most likely is not, therefore, you should report it.
This is a fight worth fighting. You know what the solution is? IT’S YOU! You and I are the solution to this crisis.
Just having this knowledge is good, but when you use the knowledge it then becomes POWERFUL. Now you have 4 ways to stop sex trafficking.
Thank you for being a voice for the hopeless and therefore, defending the cause of the most vulnerable.
PARENTS: YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION ABOUT TALKING TO YOUR KIDS AND PROTECTING THEM FROM SEX TRAFFICKING HERE.
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