January is human trafficking awareness month, and today I wanted my friend Sabrina to share some really important information with us all. She is the founder of a local non-profit fighting human trafficking in our city and around the globe. I pray you’ll read with an open heart and consider how you might effect change in this epidemic.
by Sabrina Dorman
Among the many injustices of the world stands human trafficking. Many hear this coupled with the term modern day slavery. It is hard to fathom the fact that these horrors could possibly exist in our world, much less our country. Even more unbelievable is the thought that this crime happens in our cities and towns. The truth is, like all other forms of wickedness, it thrives on our disbelief, multiplies in our unwillingness to acknowledge it, and grows in the darkness. The very first step to fighting for justice is searching for the truth.
Slavery still exists and it is estimated that 27-30 million are in bondage around the globe. It is considered to be the fastest growing organized criminal industry in history with an average annual revenue of $32 billion. The term human trafficking encompasses different “forms” such as labor trafficking, debt bondage, and sexual slavery.
Here in the United States, the average age one enters into the “sex trade” is between 12-14, the same age as your middle schooler. Around 80% of the total individuals enslaved are women, and half are under the age of 18. The chains of sex slavery look different than we sometimes imagine. Pimps and traffickers use coercion, trickery, blackmail, threats, and abuse to be the invisible bondage by which their victims are held. Many times they prey on runaways with startling statistics showing that within 48 hours of a teen running away, 1 of 3 are approached by a trafficker. This sheds a whole new light on the term “endangered runaway.”
In the face of truth we can sometimes be left terrified and paralyzed to move into action; or simply overwhelmed by the statistics. But the good news is God has a plan to address the issue of injustice and that plan is you.
will be available as a print in the MERCY iNK shop on 1/17
God’s heart is for justice to reign! The issue of justice is mentioned time and time again in His word:
- The Lord loves righteousness and justice, the earth is full of His unfailing love. Psalm 33:5
- Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed… Isaiah 1:17
- This is what The Lord Almighty says, “Administer true justice, show mercy and compassion to one another.” Zechariah 7:9
We need to be about what Jesus himself is about! We need to become His hands and His feet to rise up until justice prevails.
That is how New Creation began. Our hope is to be a light in the darkness of human trafficking. Our belief is that our voice, our prayers, our movement can bring about change. In so doing we want to equip our community, engage our youth, and mobilize churches to come alongside us!
Here are practical things YOU can do to seek justice for the oppressed:
PRAY – This is our most powerful tool to combat the darkness. Pray for the victims that they would have strength and hold onto hope until they are rescued. For the traffickers, pimps, and johns that their eyes would be opened and that God would change their hearts to turn away from this evil. For legislation and laws to be changed to reflect our nations heart for this issue. For NGO’s and organizations to have favor and perseverance to continue their work in this most difficult mission field.
EDUCATE YOURSELF & OTHERS – When we begin to educate ourselves to the truths of injustice and start bringing awareness to those around us, we are laying the ground work for righteousness & justice to prevail. Organize an event at your school, church, or even your small group to bring awareness to this issue.
BE PRESENT – On average a victim of trafficking is in the presence of adults dozens of times and those adults do nothing, or are not even aware of what’s happening. Be aware and present enough to notice a situation that seems suspicious.
Here are some flags:
- person cannot come & go as they wish
- under age providing sexual services
- is fearful, submissive, or nervous
- shows signs of distress around law enforcement
- avoids eye contact
- lacks health care/malnourished
- shows signs of abuse
- has little to no personal possessions
- has no money, bank account, or proper identification
- lack of knowledge if their whereabouts
The National Human Trafficking Hotline is 888-373-7888 or you can text HELP or INFO to BEFREE (233733)
GIVE – There are many wonderful organizations that have made this their life’s mission, and we need the nation to engage and support the work being done. Do your research and find an initiative to get behind. Volunteer, donate financially, or coordinate a fundraiser for their group.
Remember, YOU are part of God’s plan to end this injustice. Thank you so much Sabrina for you heart, passion, and faithfulness to share with us today. I’m so blessed to have designed this “Proclaim Freedom” necklace for New Creation. Head to their FB page to snag one up!
Plus, a portion of all MERCY iNK shop sales in the month of January will benefit efforts to combat human trafficking.
New Creation is a 501-c3 founded by a husband and wife team that believes that justice can and will prevail. They are continually developing partnerships locally to create an environment of awareness and education in the realm of sex trafficking. Their work includes: educating youth to prevent trafficking and equip them to join this fight; developing partnerships with other organizations to see victims rescued and rehabilitated; generating funds to fuel the fight against sex trafficking. Every item tells a story of freedom, shares the hope of restoration, and breathes the belief of change.