I’m not sure when my interest in it began. Or where I first heard about it.
But my interest in the sadness of human trafficking has been lurking in the foggy corners of my consciousness for quite a while. It’s like the dirt you sweep under the rug when your friends come to call but no matter where you hide it, the dirt remains. It seems quite easy to sweep human injustice into the recessed corners of our minds. You tell yourself…It isn’t in my backyard, it happens to a different socioeconomic class, there’s nothing I can do to stop it from happening…all heaped upon excuses to keep our guilt at bay that we are only focused on moi.
At least, this is how it is for me. But sometimes you hear one to many times about an organization that wants to garner awareness & prevent human trafficking. You find out one of their 2 US locations happens to be in your backwoods. You are invited to attend a women’s conference where guess who…the ED of the organization will be the keynote speaker…you sit in church that next Sunday and the preacher talks about human trafficking occurring in SC not just the slums of India…you come across the speakers name time after time…all random occurrences, right? But finally, you wonder if it is God who has ignited this desire in your heart?
Even though I feel like I am only one person and keep asking myself what can one person really do to help…I am reminded that…We are only individuals when we think of ourselves as one person. But when joined together in a common cause, we are no longer just one person.
So here are some interesting facts I’ve learned…
What is human trafficking?
It is the illegal bondage of a person…slavery…and normally results in forced labor and sex trafficking.
What is the average age of a victim?
12 YEARS OLD. That is astounding, so sad, makes me want to cry. I have friends with almost teenage daughters and the thought of them falling into a predators line of sight is sickening. It makes me want to go mama bear protecting on these girls who’ve been abused, hurt, stolen. Ahhh…it makes my heart ache.
This can’t affect that many people in the world, right?
Wrong….27 million people are estimated to be in bondage right now. 27 million!
So what can you do to help?
1. Become aware that this happens in our neighborhoods & towns just as much as in 3rd world countries. In just these first 3 months of 2014, Polaris Project has already received 897 calls from SC. It occurs everywhere…truck stops for instance. Here is an interesting article of how it goes down at truck stops.
2. Listen to your intuition. If you see something odd or something just doesn’t seem right, do something about it. Make a phone call to authorities or 1-888-373-7888 (National Human Trafficking Resource Center).
3. Make sure the teenagers in your life know how valuable they are, how loved they are, how special they are. Often traffickers choose victims who have little self value…telling them how beautiful they are, how much they are liked…and then in turn forcing them into prostitution or labor.
4. Write an encouraging card to a survivor of trafficking. These survivors need to know that they can do it, that they can survive the horrific experiences they have gone through. This only takes a few minutes of your day but could have a huge impact on a person’s life.
No matter what the injustice in this world is that makes you see red, never believe you can’t make a difference!