“If to be feelingly alive to the sufferings of my fellow creatures is to be a fanatic, I am one of the most incurable fanatics ever permitted to be at large.” – William Wilberforce
Human trafficking isn’t just something that happens “over there.” It has been reported in every state in America. Tragically, more of the funding that feeds human trafficking comes from America than any other country. Our country is a major part of the demand that fuels trafficking and exploitation.
As mentioned last week, there are 3 ways to fight human trafficking:
Awareness is growing in the US. Airports in Los Angeles and Atlanta now have materials posted.
In Tennessee, these posters were spotted on the backs of rest stop restroom stalls.
You can help raise awareness by knowing the signs to look for, sharing about trafficking, memorizing and sharing the Human Trafficking Hotline (888-3737-888), or you can place posters in rest rooms or gas stations (or anywhere someone will let you!). At the Campaign to Rescue and Restore site, you can get up to 100 of each of their posters for FREE. They even pay shipping! They have posters in English, Spanish, Indonesian, Korean, Chinese, Thai, Russian, and Vietnamese. You never know the difference a few well-placed posters could make.
What else can you do? Most of the same ideas for getting involved internationally apply here as well:
- Pray. You could choose to get on the mailing list of one or two of the ministries below and commit to pray for those fighting evil around the world.
- Act. You can plan and do your own S.O.A.P. outreach when a big event comes to your town. Some brave women have even gone into the strip clubs and ministered to the women there, helping them get out of that life if they were willing.
- Raise Awareness. You could host a jewelry party, selling items made by rescued women, or print out my handouts and do a session at your church or school. You could help a student research for a school project, or get books on the topic stocked in your local library or church library. You could show the documentary Nefarious in your church (be warned, it is worse than heartrending, but does have a strong Gospel message of hope at the end).
- Give. The Bible says if you sell what you have and give to the poor, you will have treasure in heaven. Have a yard sale and donate the proceeds to one of the ministries below. Start saving a portion of your income every month to give, or have a bake drive at a church event. There are so many ways to give, it would be impossible to list them all. What comes to mind?
Here is a list of my favorite ministries fighting trafficking in the US:
- Truckers Against Trafficking – truckers are rescuers! Many trafficked girls are forced to sell themselves at truck stops across the country, and truckers are making the phone calls that save their lives.
- S.O.A.P. Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution – bars or soap in motel or gas station bathrooms wrapped with the human trafficking hotline are brilliant because the bathroom is the one place a trafficked girl is allowed to go alone.
- End It Movement – it’s more than a cool red x on your hand.
- Polaris Project – the best place to find statistics about trafficking in the US and how things are changing for good.
- Women At Risk International – from rescuing victims in the US to training people like us, to working for change in Washington, WARInt. is a busy, busy program.
The problem is big, but not impossible. Not with God, who loves justice (Isa. 61:8), tells us to speak up for the oppressed (Prov. 31:8-9) and is near the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18).
Are you ready to get busy? Next week we’ll get down to the source that I believe feeds trafficking the most, and how we can prevent it in our own local areas.
Part 4: Ways Christians Can Fight Human Trafficking Here in the US
Part 5: Ways Christians Can Prevent Human Trafficking Locally and in Our Own Homes