Hello, y’all. I’m gonna be real with you, as usual. I’m getting really fed up with sex trafficking. I realize that’s an obvious statement; but seriously, it seems I can’t go a day without hearing another horrendous story and it fires me up even beyond my call to break the silence over the epidemic of child sexual abuse. Did you know that 2 children are sold into slavery every minute of every day? In America alone, at least 100,000 children are used in pornography and prostitution each year. Sex slavery has got to stop. We all have a role to play and we have to do it now.
I clearly remember being in Africa just two months ago, passing by signs posted around the villages, advertising “house girls/boys” or “domestic workers” or even a storefront for a “girls hostel” and noticing how these ads were treated as normal, accepted and nothing to raise an eyebrow at — it completely disgusts me and I am still feeling the pain and anger inside and the need to do something about this — not only in Africa abut here in the US as well…
The problem is that so many of us don’t feel the need to do anything; or maybe we feel like we can’t. We quickly get caught up in our daily American lives of entitlement, personal stresses or selfish fun. I’m preaching to myself here too; I know I do this; but I don’t want to anymore. I’m sickened by the state of our society.
For example, we are all fascinated and enthralled by what’s happening in the World Cup, and though much of it has been very exciting and I wish I was there, what most of us don’t know or see or think about is the dark world that is happening outside the stadium: all of the sex slaves that have been trafficked into the country for this event. South African human rights groups have estimated that about 38,000 children are currently trapped in this country’s sex slave trade, but that number won’t meet the demand of all the sick tourists who are attending The World Cup. Behind the celebrations are thousands and thousands of kids who have been trafficked in for the purpose of being raped, tortured and used in return for of a handful of change to their owners. Many people are pointing the finger at the government’s small efforts to patrol the borders and stop traffickers from entering. Though this certainly needs to be addressed, I don’t blame the country’s policing system as much as I blame those around the world who are paying for these services. Who are these sickened sports fans and tourists who feel it’s their right to visit places like this, to go and enjoy the thrill of the sport, but as an additional thrill to their vacation, create a demand for child sex slaves? If it werent for these individuals this business would bust. It’s time to not only bust the traffickers, but bust the tourists who create the demand!
The important thing I have to remember, and so do you, is that constantly hearing stories of trafficking doesnt mean every single one has a horrible ending. Check it out: There is a safehouse for trafficked victims that we support here in Central Ohio where OneVOICE is based. The place is called Rahab’s Hideaway. They reached out to a young teen victim when she was put in jail a year and a half ago (arrested for prostitution…which is beyond stupid, but I will save that rant for another post…and trust me, it’s coming). She was abused, sleeping in a cardboard box and used as a child sex slave for nearly 7 years (starting at age 13 when she was parent-less, homeless, roaming the streets looking for her brothers and eventually taken in by a pimp) before Rahab’s Hideaway took her in. Just fifteen months after her rescue she is graduating from high school as her class valedictorian! An amazing and true story of a young woman who is finding Victory Over Impossible Circumstances! Read the full story here!
I hope this story gives you encouragement, like it does me, to know that efforts to raise awareness, to combat human trafficking, and reach out to its victims do make a difference.
Do what you can to help. Or donate your money to those who will. Here are some other orgs who are making an impact in big ways and need your support:
~Nicole Bromley, OneVOICE