Every day I see stories on the Internet about human sex trafficking, and quite honestly, I don’t read them all. The term human trafficking has created a great buzz and momentum; however, what is being done to systematically confront the insanity? Anti-trafficking efforts need a jump.
Our culture glamorizes sex and pimp culture. The shopping malls exploit pre-teen girls on sexual billboards, and recording artists promote rape and abuse. Backpage.com, an online classified, was blatantly selling victims for years before finally being shut down. Verizon On Demand provides its customers with hard-core porn exploiting young victims, and online bookstores proudly sell daddy-daughter rape books. Our culture provides the perfect soil for sex trafficking to thrive, and talking about these issues is not enough anymore. Awareness is only the beginning, and it must propel us to take action which paves the way for the necessary change.
There are incredible, dedicated advocates who are fearless in their pursuit of social justice. Many trafficking survivors, community leaders, and everyday citizens are rising and refusing to turn a blind eye because they understand there are multitudes of victims who need to be rescued and restored. But dare I say, we need more significant action and more meaningful results.
Reading these stories every day provides an avenue for sympathy, but sympathy without action is merely an emotion. To give a better outcome for victims of human trafficking, we must rise above the feeling and unite our efforts to rescue and restore those caught in this grip of evil.
Once rescued, victims lives are at risk if they dare speak out against their pimp, and what are we offering them in return? We must provide them with a safe place and essential resources to help them heal, or they will be back on the street in the same violent situation. Our states must follow through on legislation, or the Johns will keep on buying, the pimps will keep on selling, and the victims will remain victimized.
Our actions and inactions greatly matter, and we can not risk accepting complacency. Hidden victims are waiting for us to respond and we must kick up a notch. Let us follow up within our local communities and take the conversation to the next level.
Ask the hard questions. Determine where your state ranks in combatting human trafficking. What legislation is in place and is it fully implemented? Does your state have a human trafficking task force? Have your local law officers been trained to recognize trafficking victims? What services are in place for victims? Does your state have a safe house?
Determine what steps need to be taken to secure a stronger plan of action and take up your part in the process. Don’t only post and repost articles, but let your efforts be heard louder than your voice. Stand up for Dignity.