SYLVIA McCRORY MAY 2020
To the simple minds of those of us who have never had to walk in the shoes of the victims of child sex trafficking, we just assume, children should be able to escape this horrible life and return to a normal, happy life. Unfortunately, it is not that easy. Today I will explore the life of victims and their efforts to return to their old lives. However, it is also important to remember, many of these children did not have a happy, or even stable life before they were victims of sex trafficking. Many children were abused and beaten, neglected and unwanted.
This scripture is a raw reminder of the suffering of people. The children who are victims of sex trafficking are suffering, and in a horrible prison, being held and used as objects for the evil desires of others. Please be mindful and in prayer for these children. For many, their lives have never been easy, made worse by traffickers. Yet, they are loved by God and are His children. They may be lost, just as we all once were, which is all the more reason we, as Christians need to be in prayer for them. We must be available to do God’s work on their behalf.
This awful crime is occurring in the United States, as well as worldwide. According to Jamie D. Aten in his article, The Research on Child Sex Trafficking How to fight modern-day slavery, “Worldwide, there are over 40 million people in slavery. Never before in human history have this many people been enslaved. Modern day slavery is a multibillion-dollar industry generating an estimated $150 billion annually. 1 in 4 victims of modern slavery is a child.” Unfortunately, this is probably just the tip of the iceberg because it is hugely under-reported.
There is much misinformation about the victims of Child Sex Trafficking. There is the belief that children who engage in trading sex are criminals, that they are just child prostitutes. The law clarifies that minors who trade sex for an item of value do not need to have a trafficker, they are not the criminal, the person paying for sex is the criminal.
Many exploited children do not consider themselves victims, they are resistant or belligerent to law enforcement. Children are not cooperative with law enforcement due to brainwashing, fear of their pimp, fear of others learning they have been working as prostitutes, emotional and mental illness. Being traumatized and fear of trusting anyone again is yet another hurdle in ending this abuse and crime.
Some children are treated as criminals and arrested for the crimes they committed such as drug possession.
Not all children who escape, the life of being trafficked are treated as criminals. However, all children who are able to get out of the sex trafficking are in need of counseling. The physical abuse they have endured is only part of the trauma the emotional, and psychological damage will be long reaching. Additionally, there are children who need drug rehab programs due to traffickers drugging them, making them addicts.
Most child victims never enjoyed the privilege of childhood innocence. They do not know what a happy childhood looks like, or what a caring or loving parent looks like. Therefore, they fear escaping, fearing they may enter a world worse than the one they live in currently.
Sex traffickers prey on children because of the higher chance of STDs in adults. The average age of the children is 15, with some reports of children as young as 12 being victims.
I hope you will be with us tomorrow as I share the story of a victim of Child sex trafficking and her journey back. Please be in prayer for these children.
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