Three Steps You Can Take This Week to Fight Human Trafficking

President Trump Designates January as "National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month"

On December 31st, President Trump declared the month of January "National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month." He called on everyone in the U.S. "to  recognize our vital roles in ending all forms of modern slavery and to observe this month with appropriate programs and activities aimed at ending and preventing all forms of human trafficking."

While anarchists grouse and push anti-realistic dictates in the name of justice, thankfully, the president has recognized one of the real human rights injustices taking place in our nation. And in many ways, this is "our problem." According to the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking, the U.S. is the world's leading consumer of commercial sex – meaning Americans are buying sex in higher numbers than any other nation. This includes massage parlors, strip clubs, pornography, prostitution, and a veritable panoply of freelance sex trafficking rings. To meet rising demand, women and children are being roped into sex slavery at younger and younger ages. This is not a third world problem, or even a city problem. In Our Backyard, an organization working to stop sex trafficking, says it is occurring in every zip code in America. (See "Women & Children Last", Salvo 51.)

Here are three things you can do before the end of January to help prevent or stop sex trafficking where you live:

Go see Blind Eyes Opened: The Truth about Sex Trafficking in America on January 23rd.
Produced by Ships of Tarshish Films, Blind Eyes Opened tells the stories of six women who were trafficked as minors. You will also meet law enforcement agents and several nonprofits working to free the captives and minister to rescued survivors. Although the subject matter is difficult, it is a beautiful and inspiring film. Blind Eyes Opened will be showing in theaters, one night only, on January 23rd. Click here to watch the trailer, or here for theaters and showtimes.

Get informed, and set about informing others.
A21 has put together ready-to-go multimedia educational resources for adults and teens. Human Trafficking Awareness Program is a three-hour introduction to the reality of modern slavery with suggested "next steps" concerned people can take, and Bodies Are Not Commodities is a five-session (expandable to fifteen) curriculum designed for high school students. Both are available in Spanish, both are free of charge, and they are designed so that anyone can lead a group through them. Get one and start a conversation in your church or neighborhood. Or get one and pass it on to someone who will.

De-porn, starting with the church.
Pornography not only drives demand for commercial sex, which drives demand for sex "workers," it also has an enslaving effect on users. Charisma News reports that 50-75 percent of churchgoing men are using porn, but fewer than one in ten churches have a program to help them break free from it. KingdomWorks Studios has produced a 10-week DVD series designed by men for men to help them link up as brothers and break free from the bondage of sexual sin. The Conquer Series is cinematic, meaning it's like watching a live action film, not like watching a teacher give a lecture. It's a bit like Top Gun, except it's about real battles for human lives and souls, which are spiritual in nature. Whether porn is a problem for you or not, tell someone in your church about the stats on porn in church and share this series. Click here to find out more or watch the trailer.

Edie, whose story is told in Blind Eyes Opened, was sold for sex at age twelve out of her parents' store during business hours. The signs were there for anyone to see, but no one ever took action to help her. Lexie was sold at age ten in her neighborhood. She told her parents, but they didn't believe her. The she told her youth pastor, but still, nothing was done to help her. Christine Caine, founder of A21 says, "When a lot of people do a little, it adds up and makes a difference." Recognizing the signs and paying attention to children may seem like little things, but to Edie and Lexie they could have meant literal liberation.

Do something this month, small though it may seem, to prevent or stop what happened to them from happening to someone in your zip code.

Stats on porn use in churches taken from 15 Statistics About the Church and Pornography That Will Blow Your Mind.

 is Deputy Editor of Salvo and writes on apologetics and matters of faith.

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