This past weekend, I was able to participate in a movement that took place all across the world. It was a movement to spread awareness of something that I am extremely passionate about and something the Lord has definitely broken my heart for, which is human trafficking. Anyone that knows me, knows that this is my heartbeat. I want to do everything that I can to help end human trafficking in our world today.
What is Human Trafficking?
Human Trafficking is an epidemic that impacts over 27 million people in our world today. Human Trafficking generates an estimated $150.2 billion USD annually. Every 30 seconds someone becomes a slave to human trafficking. Human Trafficking is believed to be the third-largest criminal activity in the world. Human Trafficking doesn’t discriminate based on age, gender, race, socioeconomic status, height, weight, or neighborhood. There are victims younger than one year of age and victims older than 90 years of age. Most of the victims, especially for the sexual slavery, are girls or women, but they can also be boys or men. Sadly, Only 1 percent of victims are ever rescued.
Human Trafficking is the trade of humans, most commonly for forced labor, sexual slavery, or commercial sexual exploitation for either the trafficker or someone else. It usually involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain the labor or sex act. It is an epidemic that is impacting our cities, neighborhoods, and entire globe without us even realizing it.
Why am I so passionate about it?
I am extremely passionate about human trafficking, specifically sex trafficking. I am passionate about loving, freeing, helping, and assisting these children and women. I want to eventually open up my own safe house for rescued women. A place where they are safe, where we can teach and equip them for the real world, counsel them, be there while they detox, and really walk through every step of the journey with them. I can’t even imagine going from what they’ve seen, lived, and experienced into the real world without finding my way back to it, because it would be all I ever knew. THAT is what I want to fix, avoid, and destroy.
Why? Why am I so passionate about it? Well, I went on a missions trip to Argentina when I was a junior in high school. I can honestly say that’s where it all began even though I had no idea it was even beginning. I remember the streets lined with pictures of half dressed women for men to just pull off and take with them on their walk to work. I mean literally it was like those take what you need things, but with different women on each little piece of paper. The papers flooded the streets and people walked over them like it was nothing. I remember the multiple encounters we saw of pimps exchanging cash with their customers in the lobbies of hotels. I remember the moment when the men in our group were approached and asked if we were for sale. I remember not being able to make eye contact with men, walk on certain sides of the sidewalk during certain parts of the day, and having to have “body guards” to make sure we weren’t taken or sold. I will never be able to forget those moments. The heartbreak of God.
Since that trip, I have learned more, went on more missions trips, prayed with victims, watched documentaries, done educational presentations on human trafficking, been a part of the end it movement, and made sure that I’m doing my part right now. I know that God has called me to work with this population in some way, but I keep trying to open the door myself. I have learned to keep chasing my calling, but let God open the doors for me. So, for now, I’m just taking advantage of opportunities like the Walk for Freedom and waiting patiently for my green light!
What is the movement Walk for Freedom?
Walk for Freedom is an abolitionist movement to end modern day slavery put on by A21. This year on October 14th all around the world, people walked in a single file line, in all black, completely silent, to spread awareness for human trafficking. Everywhere from Sweden, Sydney, Greece, LA, Toronto, Dallas, and so on.
This year they made it more personal. Each person was given a bandana to cover their mouths with to represent those who have no voice. Each bandana had either the name Amy, Eve, or Ivan on it. These are real people, and real life stories of victims that A21 has helped. Amy got into a relationship with a man that became her trafficker. Eve was 4 years old dancing for men on the streets to help support her family. Ivan got a job to help support his wife with cancer and was taken to a job site that wasn’t at all what he expected. Here is the link to the Youtube version of the podcast so that you can listen to these individuals stories. And hear a little more about the walk for freedom! In the podcast it mentions that their youngest victim was 18 months old and their oldest was a 79 year old woman. So, it truly does impact everyone. Luckily, A21 is doing great kingdom work and rescuing, equipping, and loving on these victims. Each story ended well, which is always nice. But most stories don’t end that way, that’s why we need your help!
What can I do to help?
I know it’s easy to look at something like this and see it as a hopeless situation, but when people stand up for a cause, that is never the case. So, if you’re wondering how you can help – here is a few easy ways!
- Educate yourself. You’d be surprised how close to home a lot of this stuff happens. Houston, TX goes back and forth from being the #1 city in America for human trafficking and Dallas is in the top 10. One BIG way that you can help is educating yourself and being aware of the signs to look for and where to report.
- Educating others! If you didn’t know, that means there is most likely someone else around you that was unaware as well! Educate them! Be the VOICE for the VOICELESS! You have a voice, use it!
- Partnering with organizations such as A21, Traffic 911, Rescue Her, etc. That could mean volunteering, getting newsletters, donating things they need, etc.
- Giving to those organizations as well! That is ALWAYS helpful and makes a real impact! This is one of the most impactful way to help, because your money is what allows these organizations to be able to do what they do!
- What really helped me personally was going on mission trips and seeing it firsthand. It doesn’t have to be a missions trip, but if an opportunity presents itself, DO IT. It will change your life.
This post was brief and barely covered the surface of what I know, want to share, and will be sharing in the future. I have some more really awesome posts coming out within the next couple of months about this exact same issue, because I believe it’s THAT important. BUT I wanted to make myself available if you have any questions or want to talk about this, how you can get involved, etc. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org OR you can message me on Instagram or Facebook (the handle is at the bottom of this page!) I love talking about this epidemic, I love learning more about it, and I love being involved with putting an end to it! So, let’s talk about it!
We each have a voice and the ability to change the culture of our world, what are you doing with it today?
*also these lovely photos were taken at the Dallas Walk for Freedom by Krystella Cera