Susan Norris’s book, Rescuing Hope, tells a fictional account of a girl forced into a life of sexual slavery. But the problem is real. I touch on the subject in my own upcoming book, but in a very different way. I want to encourage people to do whatever they can, wherever they are, to help whomever possible, so we can save more children.
But why should we care?
Did you know???
The U.S. Department of Justice estimates 100,000 to 300,000 American kids under 18 are involved in prostitution and often targeted by sexual predators annually. According to the FBI, the average age of a child sexually exploited is 11. The average age of entry for a girl into prostitution is 13, for a boy 12. *These are staggering numbers.
What if it was your child?
The U.S. cities where human trafficking is worst are: Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Las Vegas, San Diego, San Francisco, St. Louis, Tampa, and Washington, DC. *I’ll bet most reading this in the Unites States, live in or near one of these cities.
Children exploited through prostitution report they typically are given a quota by their trafficker/pimp of 10 to 15 buyers per night. Utilizing a conservative estimate, a domestic minor sex trafficking victim would be raped by 6,000 buyers during the course of her victimization through prostitution.
– The National Report on Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking: America’s Prostituted Children, Shared Hope International, May 2009, page 20.
Human trafficking is a criminal business that profits from enslaving people for sexual servitude and forced labor. It is the fastest growing and second largest criminal industry in the world today (second only to drug trafficking and tied with illegal arms), according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Many perpetrators, customers of the trade, are professionals traveling on business, or attending a mainstream event.
According to U.S. Federal law, human trafficking is defined as:
- Sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age; or
- The recruitment, harboring, transportation provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.
How can you help?
Contact programs like Resolution Hope, and ask them what you can do. In my upcoming book, I tell the story of one woman who cheerleads her co-workers into building a series of safe houses for children rescued from the clutches of vile and greedy perpetrators.
- If nothing else, the most powerful thing you can do is pray.
- Agree with many of us, that 2013 would be a year of refreshment for countless boys and girls.
- Ask God how you might play a part in rescuing them from further pain and shame.
- Take action in practical ways to help save another, if the opportunity arises.
- Refuse to participate, if temptation offers you the chance at sexual immorality, especially where a child might be involved.
Anita Agers-Brooks is a Business and Inspirational Coach, Certified Personality Trainer, Productivity Expert, Certified Training Facilitator, Communications Specialist, national speaker, and author of the soon-to-be released book, First Hired, Last Fired — How to Become Irreplaceable in Any Job Market.
She’s a partner in The Zenith Zone, a business coaching firm. Member of the Christian Writer’s Guild, client of WordServe Literary Group, graduate of CLASSeminars for Leaders, Speakers, and Authors, a co-founder of The StoryWriting Studio, and speaker on circuit for Stonecroft International Ministries.
Anita’s passionate about business with integrity, healthy relationships, and issues of identity. She travels the country teaching others from her personal experiences and research. She believes it’s never too late for a fresh start with fresh faith. Anita lives in Missouri with her husband Ricky.