Help Stop Human Trafficking: The Underground Evil
At just eleven years old, “Stacey” found herself living on the streets. She was afraid, but she knew it had to be better than the home situation she was running from.
Her optimism kept her going. She truly believed some caring adult would see her and offer help. But this never happened. Not one adult offered to help her – not one “caring” adult, that is.
Instead Stacey experienced the unspeakable horrors of human trafficking.
With 800,000 men, women and children being trafficked (forced into prostitution or involuntary labor) worldwide every year, how long do you think it will be before this heinous crime affects you or someone you care about?
This underground evil often imprisons its victims in deplorable conditions for years until they escape or are rescued. And it’s likely happening right now – in your community.
Proverbs 31:9 (ESV) speaks strongly about what to do when we see others being mistreated:
Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.
I spoke with three extraordinary people doing exactly this: Julie Smith (Social Services Program Coordinator for the Salvation Army), and Elder Lee Thomas and Dr. Kimberly Thomas (Pastors of Destiny Church of God, International).
During our conversation, I learned what human trafficking is, how to spot it in our communities and how to help put an end to it.
They told me true stories, like “Stacey’s” (a name I made up), which I shared earlier. And about how Pastors Lee and Kimberly were surprised to learn why their server had a numbered tattoo on her neck.
Julie also told us about a woman who was subjected to human trafficking as a teenager, just three doors from her home. Thankfully, she has since come out of human trafficking and now shares her story to help others.
What would happen if we were to give these stories the attention and compassion they deserve?
I would like to end with a challenge from Pastor Lee which goes well with this week’s verse: “Make it your business to get involved just as you would want others to if it were your child, grandchild, niece or nephew who was in trouble.”
For more information about Human Trafficking, please contact:
Julie at Julie.Smith@uss.salvationarmy.org
Pastors Lee and Kimberly at DestinyChurchOfGod@gmail.com.
You can also contact:
The END IT Movement (EndItMovement.com)
Truckers Against Trafficking (TruckersAgainstTrafficking.org).
I’d love to hear your thoughts about this post.
(Others might also benefit from your comment.)
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This is horrifying! Every time I read about how prevalent human trafficking is my heart breaks. I pray about this daily and want to do more locally. Thank you for reminding me to get up and do it!
I love your comment – on every level – Marla. Thank you for actively praying AND choosing to do be involved in fighting human trafficking.
Thank you for sharing this valuable information. This is truly a travesty. We need to open our eyes so that we can truly see. We are blind to so much that is going on around us. And we need to be bold enough to get involved when we suspect abuse.
I remember once in my apartment building a few years ago I witnessed a woman being forced into a car by a man. She was screaming. I didn’t have my phone with me so I told the man near me to call the police while I tried to get his license plate number. The man seemed very afraid and he actually refused to use his cell phone to call the police. Because I was arguing with him I was unable to go try and see his license plates as he was leaving. I went inside my apartment and called the police knowing there was little they could do without more information to describe the car. But even when some people see they are afraid to get involved.
Your personal story is SO sad and shows an additional aspect about the seriousness of Human Trafficking. How it intimidates even those who suspect abuse. I applaud your stepping up, Barbara.
And thank you for sharing this article on a form of modern-day slavery on your Facebook page.