“Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless…” Isaiah 1:17
Today is another 21st, so it’s time to shout out once again about the crime of human trafficking. I am so pleasantly surprised that since I first became aware of the problem back in October, its awareness has become huge across our nation and our world. People are angry. People are appalled. And people are saying to those who exploit women and children for their own purposes and pleasure that it will stop. I have been most pleased to see the response of the Church on this issue. I can’t help but believe that God Himself is tired of His little girls being used and abused and is moving His church to action against it. I’ve never been much on “awareness campaigns” because I never really thought that they accomplished much. I have now had to change my mind on that. This problem has been allowed to grow because people like you and I just didn’t know it was happening. But now that we do, we want it to stop.
But maybe you haven’t heard yet that:
Human trafficking is the second largest global organized crime today, generating approximately 31.6 billion USD each year. Specifically, trafficking for sexual exploitation generates 27.8 billion USD per year.
Warning Signs of Human Trafficking
-Signs of physical abuse
-Deprivation of food, water, sleep or medical care
-Someone whose communications are restricted
-A large number of occupants in one residence
-Someone who is rarely seen outside their residence
-Individual not allowed to socialize or attend religious services
-Always accompanied when outside the residence
-Outside locks on doors and windows to prevent someone from leaving the residence
-No travel documents for identification, i.e. ID card, birth certificate, passport, visa, social security card
The National Human Trafficking Center toll free hotline is 1-888-373-7888 or 1-888-428-7581.
We all have to get involved. Really, ladies, what if this was your daughter? The average age for someone being brought into the sex slave industry is 13. They are lured in through online chat rooms and even by other girls at school who themselves are being exploited. Part of their servitude is to bring in their friends. It’s true that the problem is much greater in Europe and Asia, but even one girl sold and trafficked here in the United States is one too many. We know that the hub for human trafficking in the US is right in our backdoor. At least 300 victims a day are brought into the human trafficking industry in Atlanta, Georgia.
Ultimately, the whole human trafficking network comes down to the clients who pay for sex, and as long as they continue to offer their money; the multi-billion dollar sex trafficking industry will flourish.
Organizations are springing up all over our country to work with federal authorities to save these girls. I am so proud of one of my best friends in Charlotte, North Carolina. Debbie became aware of the issue and decided God was telling her to do something. She and a few others have started a ministry called Compassion to Act. They have planned a conference in May at Elevation Church (Blakeney’s Campus) to launch the ministry, but the need for help is so great that they have already been called upon by the FBI there to help some rescued girls who had no one to turn to. All Debbie did was to tell the Lord she was willing, He provided the rest. You can go to http://restoringhearts.net/conferences.html for more information on their Breakthrough seminar.
Churches here in Birmingham are joining in to help. Is yours? If not, find out why not. At the very least, form a prayer group to support those who are fighting on the front lines against this. Collect items to send to shelters like “The Studio” in Huntsville, Alabama run by the Tennessee Valley Family Services. They are always in need of toiletry items, underwear, and clothing. Join forces with organizations like the A21Campaign and send a letter to a rescued girl to encourage her and tell her she is beautiful. Who can’t send a letter? (http://www.thea21campaign.org for more details)
The point is, everyone can do something. Together we can end this. Use your Facebook page as a tool to spread the word and inform others who might not yet know. Send out Tweets that raise awareness. Be a part of the solution in whatever way you can. This is something we can all do together. We can end this. We really can.