We hear about human trafficking or sex trafficking and want to think that it is elsewhere and is someone else’s problem. However, many of us realize this is the slavery issue of our time. It must be stopped. Yet, that leaves the overwhelming question, how do we stop human trafficking? In other words, the problem seems so big; it seems impossible to overcome. But, there is some good news. We can help stop human trafficking by supporting our local pregnancy help center.
Trafficking is connected to abortion. First, it is connected by some women being forced to get an abortion by their trafficker. Second, some traffickers want the women to get pregnant in order to manipulate them. All that to say, regardless of why the woman goes to the clinic, there is a small window of opportunity for these victims to be rescued. Many pregnancy help centers are learning new ways to help and protect trafficked women. We can make a difference by supporting the centers and clinics that are on the front line. First, let’s understand a bit more of the situation.
What is human trafficking?
“‘Trafficking in persons,’ ‘human trafficking’ and ‘modern slavery’ are umbrella terms – often used interchangeably – to refer to a crime whereby traffickers exploit and profit at the expense of adults or children by compelling them to perform labor or engage in commercial sex.”
That is to say, a trafficker may use threats, abuse or empty promises of love and protection. They coerce, manipulate and deceive others into performing labor or sexual acts. This form of sexual exploitation is fueling abortion and pregnancy manipulation.
Is trafficking happening?
None of us want to admit it, but yes, it is happening. Globally, human trafficking is second to drug trafficking in its profitability. Many feel human trafficking only happens in countries outside of the United States. However, according to DHS, it is estimated that 300K children are victims of sex trafficking each year. Unfortunately, there were only slightly more than 50,000 cases of human trafficking reported in the United States. Finally, according to speaker and advocate Karla Sutter, human trafficking’s presence in our everyday lives is more common than we’d like to think. In her presentation, Sutter shares that the number one day for trafficking is Super Bowl Sunday. All this to say, human trafficking is real. It is here, and at our own front door.
Can’t others help?
According to recalim611.org, “88% of sex trafficking victims come into contact with a healthcare provider during captivity. Less than 1% are identified.” Above all, this statistic needs to change. Happily, this is where pregnancy help centers are in a unique position to help. To those who work at these centers and clinics, women are not numbers, income opportunities or statistics. They are human beings. Most importantly, a pregnancy care center can be a hopeful choice. A place caring advocates can notice when something is not right and offer help.
What do victims look like?
According to Homeland Security, those trafficked can be of any race, gender or age. This means the diversity of victims can make it challenging to identify a victim of human trafficking. However, there are still several traits that a victim might display:
- Does the person appear disconnected from family, friends, community organizations, or houses of worship?
- Has a child stopped attending school?
- Has the person had a sudden or dramatic change in behavior?
- Is a juvenile engaged in commercial sex acts?
- Is the person disoriented or confused or showing signs of mental or physical abuse?
- Does the person have bruises in various stages of healing?
- Is the person fearful, timid, or submissive?
- Does the person show signs of having been denied food, water, sleep, or medical care?
- Is the person often in the company of someone to whom he or she defers? That is to say, someone who seems to be in control of the situation, e.g., where they go or who they talk to?
- Does the person appear to be coached on what to say?
- Is the person living in unsuitable conditions?
- Does the person lack personal possessions and appear not to have a stable living situation?
- Does the person have freedom of movement? Can the person freely leave where they live? Are there unreasonable security measures?
What do traffickers look like?
Unfortunately, traffickers can be anyone and the victim may not even realize they are victims depending on the relationship. Identifying victims and perpetrators of sex trafficking is not simple. That’s why the characteristics listed above can alert someone. However, please remember that safety is the biggest concern. Homeland Security says do not attempt to confront a suspected trafficker directly or alert a victim to any suspicions. It is up to law enforcement to investigate suspected cases of human trafficking. If something seems off, use the information below:
What should a Christian do?
There are 20 scriptures on human trafficking. God’s heart has always been for the vulnerable, for the oppressed and enslaved. In history, some of the Christians were against slavery. However, they didn’t think they could make a change. Yet, as heard in the audio drama reenactment of Amazing Grace, they did make a difference. Christians can really make a difference and stop human trafficking.
How to stop human trafficking?
There is also a new evil twist that pregnancy care centers are seeing emerge in trafficking. Some traffickers want women to get pregnant. Abortion can hurt a woman, therefore, they may, but if a woman gets pregnant, a trafficker can control the woman by using her baby to manipulate her. Furthermore, if the woman, the initial victim, stops being “useful” to the trafficker, the trafficker may turn to traffic the victim’s child instead. Thankfully, pregnancy help centers can help. They are positioned to intercept and help victims.
With all this in mind, what can your family do to stop human trafficking? First, pray for the local pro-life pregnancy center. Second, support them. Not every center has trained in helping human traffic victims, but many are learning and creating safe places for these women. Check with your local center. Information can be found at My Choice Network and Optionline. If you clinic doesn’t have this ministry yet, see how you can help them. Lastly, volunteer. Who better to show love and freedom than believers in Jesus Christ? In conclusion, this is an evil we can stop in our lifetime. We can stop human trafficking.
The Lord their God will save his people on that day as a shepherd saves his flock.
They will sparkle in his land like jewels in a crown. Zachariah 9:16