As I was meditating this morning, my mind was turned to the captives, most especially the girls. It is estimated that at least 20 million people are currently in bondage worldwide, many of them in sexual slavery. I’ve written about sex trafficking before. Human trafficking is now the fastest growing organized crime. It crushes me to think about the millions of children being sexually exploited around the world.
Growing up, I never imagined I’d have to worry about my daughters being forced into slavery. I really don’t want to teach my daughters that the world is a dangerous place. I want them to feel safe and confident. But I also know too much about sex trafficking to delude myself into thinking my daughters couldn’t become victims in the blink of an eye. I just can’t stomach the thought of what could happen to them.
My oldest daughter is approaching the most vulnerable time frame for child sex trafficking… 11, 12, 13. We’ve received notices more than once about sex offenders living in our neighborhood and attempted child abductions not too far away. I probably err on the side of over-protective when it comes to (not) letting my kids walk places without an adult. I only let them walk home from school because I can see the school from my house.
Maybe it’s this girls’ story that did me in (trigger warning: this music video contains a dramatized traumatic abduction, sex trafficking, beatings, and suicidal episode, based on a true story).
I was glad (not sure that’s really the right word) to find out that StreetLightUSA®, the largest facility for child sex trafficking victims in the country, is located here in Phoenix, AZ. This facility provides “a healing and safe environment for girls age 11-17 who have been rescued from sex trafficking throughout the United States” (Source).
So this morning, as my mind turned to these girls, the words “Liberate the captives” came to my mind. I’ve decided I’m going to devote my upcoming Easter weekend to liberating the captives, in whatever small way I can.
Some of the ideas I’m considering…
- Inviting some people over to watch a movie about sex trafficking. I’ve got Not Today on hold at our local library.
- Gathering supplies to donate to StreetLightUSA®.
- Making a monetary donation to one (or more) of several organizations combatting human/sex trafficking:
- Hosting a discussion of Rachel Lloyd’s memoir, Girls Like Us: Fighting for a World Where Girls Are Not for Sale .
- Volunteering for StreetLightUSA®.
- Fasting, praying, doing meditations for the healing of victims of sex trafficking and for the abolition of those still in slavery.
If you’re inspired to spend your Easter weekend liberating the captives, please let me know you’ll be joining me in solidarity. I’ve love to hear about what you do/did.