Human trafficking in our neighborhoods, our churches, and our homes.
We are continuing our series of discussions about the issue of human trafficking in light of the recent film, Sound of Freedom. In this episode, we heard from a former stay-at-home mom who is helping victims of human trafficking get to safety and begin the healing process. Carrie discussed how trafficking comes into the homes of everyday people, and even our churches.
Part 3 in our series on Human Trafficking
Carrie Grace is the Executive Director of the Freedom Shield Foundation. She has a unique story of how she was initially called into ministering to trafficking victims!
Back in 2004, when Carrie was a homeschooling, stay-at-home mom, three strip-club dancers arrived on her doorstep seeking help. Initially, Carrie did not have any special training, but she showed kindness and hospitality to these women and began a support group in her home. This was only the beginning.!
We have been sold lies about the stripping industry. It is NOT a Hollywood, rags-to-riches story.. MANY of the women involved in stripping are also involved in prostitution and trafficking.
Ninety-six percent of women who end up in the sex industry were sexually abused themselves.
Massage parlors are the fastest growing form of human trafficking in the US.
Hard lessons learned:
Victims still get to make their own choices. Even when safety and resources have been provided, women may choose to go back into a life of trafficking. We cannot control their choices (as the traffickers/pimps have been doing), but instead must trust the Lord and honor their free will as He does with us. This is a difficult and often painful aspect of working in this field.
We cannot carry the horrific stories and burdens that the victims have endured. At the end of the day, it is Jesus who is the Savior, we are not.
Who are the "customers" of the sex industry?
On a global scale, the U.S. is the #1 consumer of sexually oriented content.
Over 90% of purchasers are men. There is no specific characteristic such as race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, etc that would identify certain men as more likely to be purchasers; ALL types of men could be potentially involved (there are women involved as purchasers, but they are usually connected to men)
Average age of victims is 13-years-old; 300,000 minors are lured into sex trafficking in the US every year; children are raped on average of 10 times per day...therefore, the number of men willing to pay to rape a child is in the hundreds of millions in the United States
Average age of exposure to pornography is 7-years-old. The #1 cause of divorce in the US is pornography. Satan lies to men and tells them they are not hurting anyone if they indulge in viewing pornography, BUT women who have been trafficked say their MOST traumatic experiences were being forced to participate in pornography.
Pornography and trafficking are related!! Carrie's husband, former FBI agent and trafficking rescuer tells men: "Every time you click on an image, you are increasing the demand for your own daughters."
Pornography is a demonic stronghold in our nation! Men have forgotten their true identity! Men need to be restored into the guardians and protectors that they were created to be in God's image! Wounded and deceived men are creating an overwhelming demand for the sex industry and the way to turn it around is to reach the men of our nation. Raising up Godly men MUST be a part of the solution.
How does a regular person get involved in being part of the solution?
Start with your own family! Have important conversations and be a safe place for people to be open and share their weaknesses.
Set up processes within your own family to protect family members who are struggling. Set up a battle plan! This is NOT about shame, but a focus on love and setting up guardrails.
Light the churches on fire about this issue! The world will not be able to solve this problem! If the church does not get involved, we will not win this battle!
Things Monique and Krista learned from this 3-part series:
Victims of trafficking may not identify themselves as victims
Most of the victims are females, but there ARE plenty of males being victimized as well
Pray for those who put their lives at risk to rescue victims of trafficking
Many rescuers/organizations are funded by donation (not government funded)
Many victims have an upside down sleep cycle and they need to relearn how to live and/or gain life skills such as budgeting, time management, keeping a home, etc
Porn, strip clubs, & prostitution are all forms of trafficking
How do we minister to the traffickers and the men who are addicted to porn? The Gospel is for them too!