Sunday, June 15, 2014

Human Trafficking in the United States

I recently attended a disturbing presentation on human trafficking in the United States. Disturbing isn’t the best word here because it’s way too mild. I’d already been hearing some of the statistics, so I wasn’t completely shocked—but what I felt was sick and sad…for the victims and because of the evil in our world.

I knew what I was walking into. Before I left, my husband asked me why I was going when I knew it would upset me. I said I had to go—I didn’t want to go, and at the same time I knew I couldn’t not go. That’s the best I could explain it.

We hear so much about human trafficking in other countries, but friends, it is here too—where we live, where we raise our children, and where we value our freedom.

In this post today, I want to share a little of what I learned—not to upset you, but to bring the same awareness I needed. (Click on the links for more information.)    

- Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery. More people are enslaved in the United States today than any other time in history. Victims can be male, female, minors, or adults. Female minors are most often primary targets for exploitation and trafficking.

- Cases of human trafficking have been reported in all 50 states of the U.S.

- Worldwide, human trafficking is considered to be one of the fastest growing criminal industries. (The drug trade is still first.)

- The National Human Trafficking Resource Center is a national toll-free hotline, available to answer calls and texts from anywhere in the country 24/7, every day of the year. 

The hotline is operated by Polaris Project (www.polarisproject.org), a non-profit, non-governmental organization working exclusively on the issue of human trafficking. (Click on the link to find so much more information.)
Call 1-888-373-7888 or text HELP or INFO to BeFree (233733) to report a tip, connect with anti-trafficking services in your area, or request training assistance, general information, or specific anti-trafficking resources.
What we can do:

- Pray for the victims, the police, task forces, and all who are trained to rescue the victims and apprehend the traffickers. And even…for the traffickers—that they might come to know God. Our God is the God of miracles, and we need miracles to stop this evil.
Rescue the poor and helpless; deliver them from the grasp of evil people. Psalm 82:4 NLT 
- If you see something that does not look right, say something! Call the police. (Don’t worry about being wrong.)

- Do not approach or attempt to intervene. Call for help.

- After calling 911, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888.

- Report what you see, not what you think is happening.

- Find out where your state stands on human trafficking laws. Contact your legislatures to support efforts to end human trafficking in your state.

For more information, visit Polaris Project. For state specific information and resources, visit the State Map page at Polaris Project, and click on your state.

In Christ,
Laura 



12 comments:

  1. I remember the first seminar I went to about human trafficking. I came home and grieved for days. I always feel like it's so big. But through prayer and being aware, we can help end it. Thank you for sharing this vitally information at The Weekend Brew.

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    1. That's how I felt too Barbie, like I was grieving with a very heavy heart. It's so big, and maybe writing about it for awareness sake is all we can do...but then that's what we should do. I struggled with how to write this post. It ended up as 2 posts - the 2nd one will post on 5 Min. for Faith later this week. Thanks for your comment. :)

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  2. There is a great little group in my city trying to fight the fight. Greenville SC is the fastest growing area on the east coast bc we are a quaint small city between Charlotte and Miami. One of the ladies on it's board and I leave next Monday to head to Haiti to look at a long term partnership with Help one Now who is rescuing children and providing them with a sustainable future away from slave rings. There is much to be done and yes it is horrific, right in our own back yards. Thanks for posting this!

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    1. Amanda, thank you for your involvement with this group and the terrible issue of human trafficking. May God bless you and your time in Haiti! Thank you for your comment here. ~Laura

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  3. The facts of your post are startling Laura . I learned recently of a ring of operations in Harlem which was trafficking girls under the guise of beauty salons. I was shocked. Thanks for bringing awareness to this important topic,

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    1. It is truly hard-to-hear information, but if we don't hear it, we won't be aware...and if we're not aware, the devil continues in the cloak of darkness. Thank you for your comment here. God bless!

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  4. Laura-this post is most pertinent to me as my daughter and her husband work in this area and are about to go to Thailand on mission to help victims who are too numerous to count,
    Man's inhumanity to man never ceases to appall me and I sense the Father's Heart grieves terribly.

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    1. Prayers for, and thanks to, your daughter and her husband for their work in helping victims of these terrible crimes. Lord, please bless their efforts, guard their hearts, and protect them as they work for Your Kingdom. Thank you for your comment here. God bless!

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  5. Laura, this is an issue that has called to me for several years but God hash;t open the door yet for a way to serve. I keep reading and listening. I hear your heart in this too. Thanks for the reminder to keep open

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    1. Jean, thank you for your comment here! I struggled with what I could do, and all I felt God telling me at the time (and for the week after the presentation when I was still processing the information) was to write. The information is sickening, but if we don't know, we can't help. Thank you for keeping an open heart for when God calls you to serve. ~Laura

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  6. Thank you for sharing about human trafficking. This is the kind of thing I don't like learning or knowing about but it is necessary.

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  7. Check into American Baptist Women's Ministries. They have been working in this area for several years. That is where I first became aware of it. Maryland rest areas have the national hotline posted on their restroom doors. I wish more states would do that. Thank you for sharing your information with the rest of us.

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts!