I was sitting in a friend’s living room when I first heard the term “human trafficking”. I was stunned and immediately appalled that this was happening in my city. Hearing statistics such as there are 27 million slaves in the world today, human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world and girls as young as 13 are being bought and sold for sex, left me speechless and numb. Whether or not you believe these statistics are actually accurate, human trafficking is happening around you and I, everyday.
Before discussing the validity of these statistics, take a step back and try to put a face to the numbers. My heart breaks for the 13-year-old girl who is still a child; her brain has more than a decade before it is even fully developed. She should be at home or at the mall playing with friends, not being bought and sold each night, nor being raped over and over again.
We put a price tag on her delicate body and tell her what she’s worth. $40 for a blow job. $80 for sex. And $200 for an hour of her time. Even as these numbers are recounted, I can see the pain that still lingers in the eyes of a precious young woman who has now been out of the life for 6 months. I cannot fathom the abuse and the personal degradation that one endures on our hidden streets and alleys.
It is my hope that I can bring light and the sobering truth to what is actually going on within the sex industry. I desire to dive into the stories behind the faces of those deeply entangled by the chains of slavery. I want to debunk myths and establish a solid foundation for the reality behind the exploitation that is taking place within our city and around the world.
This battle cannot be won alone. Will you join me in this cause?