During the Christmas season, our family looks for ways to give more of our time and money to those who need it most. We want to teach our children about the importance of giving and serving in light of God’s great gift to us. Last year, we even decided to skip gifts.
This year, we are going to be helping the child victims of human trafficking.
Human trafficking is a $32 billion business, making it the second most lucrative crime in the world (right behind the sale of illegal drugs). Trafficking persons can happen for a variety of reasons, but sex trafficking is among the most lucrative—a $28-billion-a-year crime.
Below are some practical ways you can fight the horrendous crime of child sex trafficking.
1. Educate your community through film.
People love a good movie. While action films like Taken or crime-thrillers like Trade have been popular block-busters, choose films people are not likely to have seen before. Use films like this to begin initiatives in your community.
- Rape for Profit – This film interviews experts and young exploited girls on the streets of Seattle.
- Branded – This documentary is about child trafficking on the streets of Phoenix.
- Nefarious: Merchant of Souls – This documentary examines the global problem of the sex trade, interviewing victims, johns, and pimps, and interspersing dramatic reenactments.
- Sex + Money: A National Search for Human Worth – This documentary is about sex trafficking in the U.S. and how a modern-day abolitionist movement fighting to stop it.
- Calcutta Hilton – This is a powerful true story of one couple’s effort to rescue women from the red light district in Calcutta.
- Born into Brothels – This is an Academy Award-winning documentary about the children who live in the red light district of Calcutta, where their mothers work as prostitutes.
- Demand – This documentary examines the buyer demand for sex in the U.S., Japan, Jamaica, and the Netherlands.
There are many other films you could use.
2. Refuse to buy anything that sexualizes youth.
We live in an age when young girls are being sexualized more and more through mass media. This only whets the appetite of our culture, helping to reinforce the belief that young girls should be desired for their bodies. Refuse to buy anything that promotes an adultified image of youth.
3. Refuse to buy or click on pornography.
What is depicted in pornography is not simply sex or sexuality, but commercial sexual exploitation. As Victor Malarek put it in his book The Johns:
“The message is clear: if prostitution is the main act, porn is the dress rehearsal.”
No, not everyone who watches porn later visits a prostitute, but by supporting the porn industry, we support one of the primary mediums whetting appetites for prostitution. Be talking to your children about why you object to pornography and what Godly sexuality is all about it.
4. Mentor young boys.
The young boys of today are the potential johns of tomorrow. One of the best ways to attack sex trafficking at the root is to help those who are most vulnerable to becoming sex addicts—young men with no fatherly guidance who are heavily influenced by our pornified culture.
5. Pray for the victims, the johns, and the pimps.
When we feel we can do nothing about a problem so enormous, this is a call to prayer. Many organizations have provided informative guides about how to pray: look at Exodus Cry and A Heart for Justice.
6. Find out how your state “grades” and contact local officials.
Shared Hope International has “graded” all 50 states, giving them grades A through F. These grades are based on 6 factors that contribute to sex trafficking.
Find out your state’s grade. Twenty-nine states have improved their letter grades since last year, but sadly many states still have a C, D, or F. Take action by contacting elected officials or contacting local media. Let them know you are not satisfied with your state’s grade.
7. Get your church involved.
Find ways to make your church a hub of education and activism. Use resources like DIVE from International Justice Mission or the pureJUSTICE Bible study from pureHOPE. Find local or national organizations and request a speaker to come to your church. Gather a committee to take action.
8. Join a local action group.
9. Host a house party.
Rescued victims need your help. Host a house party to sell jewelry or handbags made by women rescued from sexual slavery. Check out Destiny Rescue, Freeset, Zion Project, or Stop Trafficking in Fashion for more information.
10. Get the kids involved: Raise money for organizations fighting trafficking.
This Christmas season we are having our children raise money for Love 146, an organization that is fighting to end child exploitation and trafficking, in both the U.S. and globally. While we will be discerning in how we talk to our kids about this terrible crime, we believe it is important for them to understand that many children, some as young as 5, through force, fraud, or coercion, are being inducted into a life of awful slavery. We want our children to know that we have a role to play in their freedom.
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