A few years ago, I watched the movie “Taken.” It terrified me. Although the movie does have the typical overdosed action scenes and highly improbable happy ending (which, of course, I loved!), the underlying truth and evil of human sex trafficking cannot be missed. As a father to a young and amazing little girl, “gut-wrenching nausea” described my emotions when I saw and contemplated this evil that lurks in our world today. But how real is this problem? The statistics from the U. S. State Department are frightening:
– Human trafficking generates profits estimated above $32 Billion a year
– 80% of the enslaved are women and 50% are children
– In the U.S., the avg age of a girl to enter into the sex trade is 12-13 years-old
– Roughly 15-17,000 people are trafficked into the U.S. each year
– The avg cost to buy a “slave” globally is $90
These statistics made me realize not only how bad the problem is (even in our own country!), but how uneducated most of our population is regarding trafficking. I didn’t know how, but I knew I wanted to reach out and help. Fortunately, we were introduced to an organization right here in Kentucky, Refuge for Women, that is working to help those who have been hurt by this evil industry.
Refuge for Women, a non-profit organization, is bringing healing, and renewed hope and life to countless number of women who have been exploited in the sex trade/trafficking industry. They offer a safe place for the victim to heal, and also a 12-month program focused on helping the women move on with a stable and productive life. The testimony from these women will lead you through a full range of emotions, mimicking their own journey. The hurt and sadness you yourself feel as you hear of their time of enslavement-exploitation is sweetly replaced by feelings of thankfulness and love when you hear of the love shown to them by this organization. Despite their past, the peace they now have is palpable. You can learn more about the program and how to get involved at their website, www.refugeforwomen.org.
Reading through the book of Romans recently, I came across a verse that I think nails what our attitudes should be regarding human trafficking. In chapter 12, verse 9 it says to “hate what is evil and cling to what is good.” The evil, the sin that encompasses human trafficking should be hated; it’s a business making billions of dollars by hurting and even killing human life. It should be stopped, and the rest of that verse explains how to do that. By showing sincere love to others, especially those who are hurting, the evil experienced will be overcome. Like the Good Samaritan (read Luke 10:25-37 if you don’t know this amazing teach of Jesus), show genuine love to others, and help save a life from the evils of human trafficking.
“Let your love be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.” Romans 12:9 (NIV)