Super Bowl Sunday is one of the most exciting days of the year for us, Americans. However behind all of the glamour and fun, there is a dark gloom that not many people know about, human trafficking.
Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing crimes in America, and it is targeting our girls. It is composed of two sectors, labor and sex. In a recent lecture hosted by The Heritage Foundation, Mark Lagon, the former ambassador-at-large within the U.S. State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, and Allison Hollabaugh, counsel for the U.S. Helsinki Commission, outlined the broader implications of human trafficking on our society.
The experts stated that there is a copious amount of demand for sex in the biggest cities in America. Men from all across the country are willing to pay large sums of money to exploit young girls. They feel the need to fill their sexual desires by abusing their innocence. Furthermore, around 300,000 children are currently being trafficked into the sex trade and over half of them are girls, according to research done by Ark of Hope for Children. A more recent article wrote about an investigation and research on sex trafficking in the United States. The article mentions a 15 year old girl from Illinois lured into the hands of a trafficker with promises of a modeling career.
Although I wish this was the only case in the US, there are thousands of similar trials. Young girls are vulnerable and are prone to fall for the lies of predators. Often, pimps will approach these girls by promising them unconditional love and money and they appear to be loving and genuine. The girls are manipulated into this trap because they enjoy feeling loved and wanted. However, the pimps will slowly start to take advantage of them by forcing them to sleep with other men. They make excuses by saying that it is all out of love.
Predators will take advantage of these girls as much as they can to fill their greed. Lagon and Hollabaugh agreed that the earlier children are exposed to pornography, the likelihood of them being involved in human trafficking increases. They advocated for putting up age restrictions on all pornography sites as a practical solution. Finally, Hollabaugh stated that “in the last Congress we passed more than a dozen new trafficking bills.” Our Congress is working hard in the past couple of years to create hard laws to end this crime.
However, age restrictions on pornography sites and legislation are finite answers. The Church can help offer preemptive solutions emphasizing self-worth by teach girls they are valued, beloved, and created with dignity in the image of God. I encourage all Christian leaders to embrace younger women and reinforce the Biblical truths that teach us individuals do not need physical intimacy and words of affirmation to experience life-changing love. Pray that these young women will know that our God loves them so much that He sacrificed His Son for them, and they cannot fill the void in their hearts with the love of men, but only through the love of Christ. They need discipleship to know that their identity is found in Jesus and nothing else. (You can read more about the importance of discipleship in my article here.)
A strong identity grounded on the Rock of Jesus will prevent girls from being swept away into the dens of predators. As a young Christian, I can tell you how important it is for my peers to hear from wiser Christians exactly why physical intimacy is God’s gift within the boundaries of marriage. This way, they will not be tempted by the lure of predators. Young men and women need encouragement and Biblical truth to prevent the atrocious crime of sex trafficking.
Let us pray that young girls will discover their beauty and value in Christ and in turn encourage each other to shape their identity in Jesus.Google+