Sex trafficking: Learning is the first step to ending it
Children are the chief target in the sex trafficking trade. There are at least 100,000–and as many as 300,000–people sex-trafficked each year in the United States. (Understandably, statistics are uncertain). The average age of trafficked people is TWELVE (12) years-old, and the great majority are GIRLS.
I first heard these statistics while working with 6th and 7th grade young people, and the thought was devastating to me. My own daughter was already grown, but because I was working closely with so many middle schoolers, I had no trouble realizing how near this was coming to my own life.
There has been a steep rise in the amount of such trafficking. The reason for this is that men (as in, males) are demanding sex with younger and younger girls. Men are robbing our children of their innocence.
Trafficking of these children is not limited to the sudden snatching off the street by ugly old men in black vans with tinted windows. A means increasingly used today to gather children into the net is by is by highly sophisticated stalking and befriending young people by a “Romeo.” These “Romeos” are often older teens who have grown up with internet porn, who themselves are seeking a place to belong, and are lured into the trade by older men with promises of the “good life.” They can get a lot of money selling children.
If you think that internet porn is not causing damage, think again please.
The following link is from the Christian program “Focus on the Family” from May, 2013. It highlights the work of former Congresswoman Linda Smith who founded “Shared Hope International.” She is a leader in the movement to end sex trafficking. Her organization has many resources to educate children and adults, including videos appropriate for schools, for dads to share with sons, for families and others to use.
Many people feel helpless to do anything about this, especially after seeing movies like “Taken,” the one starring Liam Neeson, who kills half the traffickers in Europe (not really) to rescue his daughter.
There is much you can do, starting with learning a little about what really goes on, educating your children. The “Focus” program also highlights a 16-year-old who was lured in, and it will be helpful to understand how real this is, how close it is, and how some simple understanding can really protect your children.
Learning about sex trafficking is the first step to ending it.
NOTE: The following LINK NEEDS TO BE HIGHLIGHTED AND COPIED to your browser. If you simply click, it will go to another program. Sorry for the inconvenience. I can’t figure this out… 😦