I could write this blog based on statistics, because God knows there are many! I decided to write it from the standpoint of someone who has worked with and walked along side women who have been “trafficked” instead. For the past 3 ½ years I have been working with women who have been sexually exploited. These courageous women have lived in the dark world of prostitution, pornography, stripping, escorting and sex trafficking. Sex trafficking within the U.S. is legally defined as commercial sex acts induced by force, fraud, or coercion or commercial sex acts in which the individual induced to perform commercial sex has not attained 18 years of age. Minors as young as 12 years old are recruited into prostitution in the United States.
The best way to share my heart about the women I’ve served who were victims of sex trafficking is to share a couple stories. (their names have been changed to protect their identities).
I’ll never forget the first time I met “Susie”; she came to us on her 18th birthday. The other guests in the program had made her a huge spaghetti dinner, chocolate cake and placed a large white teddy bear holding a red heart saying “We Love You” and balloons on the table in front of her! That’s what was waiting for us as we walked into the residential healing home. I was already trying to hold myself together by all the love I saw for sweet Susie by our other guests. Susie, her face stoic, just stared into space for the longest time. Finally, she broke down and cried sharing with us that she’s never ever had anyone celebrate her birthday and make her feel special. Susie was trafficked by her father from the time she was 7 – 17 years old. It started out with some of his friends to make extra money to feed his 6 children after losing his job. It became so lucrative that it became his business out of his house for 10 years.
Another story I remember is about a young lady “Joy” who had been sold to a trafficker by her own mother so that she could get money for her drug habit. Joy was only 12 years old. While trafficked she was made to do things that no “human being” should ever have to do. She was forced by fear, beatings and drugs to strip at clubs all over the US. She would spend many days and nights in a hotel room while men would come in and out all night long and have their way, sometimes 20 or more men in one night would penetrate her precious body.
I could go on… but I think you get the horrific point. These are real women. They were not created to be used and abused, thrown away like the daily trash. They were created to be cherished, loved, protected, nurtured and live out their dreams like you and I.
The recovery for the women who will make it out alive is long and grueling. It’s brutal and many will struggle with suicidal thoughts and attempts. They would rather be dead then re-live what was done to them and what they were made to do.
I love football and will be watching the Super Bowl this Sunday! But this Saturday I am setting aside the day to pray and fast for all of the trafficked victims who will be arriving in the Newark area who will be made to do things no human should be forced to do. Sex is a gift from God! I will be praying for the front line ministries who are battling to find and rescue these precious women from slavery. I will be praying for the pimps and traffickers to be convicted by what they are doing to these women/girls. I will be praying for the people who will pay for sex with them. Sex is a gift from God to be shared between husband and wife! Not to be taken from an innocent young woman. I will be praying for governments and a global awareness to this very real problem! I will be praying for our churches to open their eyes and see this dark world and reach out and share TRUTH with their congregations about the devastation of lust, greed and pride. I will be praying for the “demand” for prostitution (paying for sex) to just go away, dissipate! I will pray for the hearts of those in bondage and addicted to sex and porn and the power it has over them and to be healed by our Almighty God! Because that is where this all starts…it’s a Matter of the Heart!
Written by: Cindy Warr, Development Director
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