The news has been filled with lots of stories lately centered around human trafficking and at times I’ve almost been paralyzed in the where and the how and the what to do next with all the info coming our way. I asked my sweet friend, Mary Beth Williams, if she would tackle this really hard subject for us to help us know some simple first action steps. I’m so thankful for sweet friends like her that even in the midst of raising her super adorable kiddos, she’s living on mission, learning, and leading us to learn more and step up more too!
Also, a local ministry working with trafficking is Switch and they are doing an amazing job of rescuing and coming alongside women who have been trafficked because it happens right here in SC and right where you live too!
Thank you Mary Beth for the wisdom that you share below!
Human Trafficking – what do you know about it? Do you think it happens in the US or just overseas or in developing countries? Do you think young children are involved or is it mainly teens and adults? Do you think it requires traveling/transporting people to different cities or countries? Until recently, I had uninformed answers to these questions. But then I began to research and learn about the horrific circumstances people – especially young children – are subjected to in this multi-billion dollar industry that operates in the US and all over the world.
As a mother of two toddlers, it is hard to read and learn about instances of children as young as six months old being exploited and sold (even by their own families within their own homes) for sex. I look at my children and know I would do anything to protect them, and it makes me physically ache to think about children being exploited, abused, tortured, raped, and all of the unimaginable evils that are really happening to trafficked people in what is literally modern-day slavery (also including forced labor and organ harvesting operations). But we, as adults and especially Christ-followers, must be aware and informed of these realities in order to be spurred into action to stop these crimes. It is a battle against evil, and we must bring light to the darkness. We must be the voice for the voiceless. I became overwhelmed at the beginning of my awareness journey in wanting to help these victims, but there are many practical ways that everyone can be involved as abolitionists against human/child trafficking.
First, be aware. As a starting point, visit OURRESCUE.ORG or follow O.U.R. Rescue on socials to learn more about their fight against trafficking and what the realities are in this industry. Watch their free documentary on Amazon Prime called “Operation Toussaint” that gives a first-hand insight into their operations and how trafficking occurs. This will take time and will affect you emotionally, but we can’t stay uninformed because it’s “too hard” for us to think about when these children and people desperately need our help. Pray that God would give you the endurance to learn and seek justice for these victims.
Second, receive training on identifying and reporting suspected trafficking activity. Complete the free online training (takes about 1 hour) on OURRESCUE.ORG to learn the signs of trafficking and what to do if you suspect someone is a victim of trafficking. Did you know that the US is the largest producer AND consumer of sexual exploitation material in the world? It’s happening everywhere. Also, learn how to protect your own children from online predators and be involved in their media usage.
Third, speak up and get involved. Spread awareness to family/friends/coworkers/via socials, make a donation/become a monthly donor or become a volunteer for an anti-trafficking organization such as O.U.R., write to your elected officials to bring awareness and show support for legislation regarding trafficking, attend events and peaceful demonstrations to bring awareness, commit to staying informed, and pray daily for the liberation of trafficking victims.
July 30th is internationally recognized as a day against human trafficking. There are many ways you can advocate for freedom for victims and get loud on this day. You can join a peaceful demonstration (visit O.U.R.’s website for locations all over the country and for specific details) and/or get loud from home (share on socials, fly yellow and blue balloons for awareness, make signs to display in your yard, etc.). It’s time we speak up for the voiceless, bring healing to the victims, and demand that this evil be brought to justice.
And while we combat this evil together, we will find peace and hope in knowing that Jesus Christ has won the ultimate victory over Satan, and the power of Jesus’s name will prevail over darkness. Brothers and sisters in Christ, let’s put on the armor of God, spread the Light of the World, and go to war.
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.” Ephesians 6:12-13