Traffick and Light

November 22, 2013 at 12:22 am

Sometimes the weight of the world crushes me. Yesterday was one of those days. After my husband got home from work, I sobbed in his arms and dumped my anguish into his ears for at least an hour. Among the things tormenting my mind was

child sex trafficking.

I don’t have the time or energy to write a lengthy post about this issue, but the following trailer for the documentary “Sex + Money” gives a good overview…

Click HERE for a brief overview with FAQ’s about child sex trafficking.

Click HERE for a music video sharing the true story of a girl (from my own state AZ, I believe) abducted on her way to a friend’s house and forced into sex slavery.

I spent a considerable amount of time alone and afraid between the ages of 9 and 11. I walked and biked by myself all the time, had a broken family and somewhat abusive older brother, felt a compulsive desire to please, had low self-esteem, and yearned deeply for love. I could easily have been one of those victimized girls.

My oldest daughter is approaching the most vulnerable time frame for child sex trafficking… 11, 12, 13. Growing up, I never imagined I’d have to worry about my daughters being forced into slavery. 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. Absolutely crushes me.

But I was happy to learn that our very own Phoenix is home to the largest facility for child sex trafficking victims in the country: StreetLightUSA®. 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).

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As I cried to my husband yesterday afternoon, I felt so much despair, wondering how we could ever make a dent in the vastness of the evil out there. Sometimes I long to return to the “bliss” of ignorance and innocence, long before I knew just how complex the world’s problems were. In truth, I only know a small portion of the complexity of the world’s problems. And that, too, overwhelms me–to consider that I’m only seeing the tip of the iceberg. If this is the evil on the surface, what horrors lie below?

But once the tears of my despair were spent, and a night of sleep was behind me, I felt ready to open my heart to accept the small contribution I could make, even if it was miniscule compared to the vastness of the problem. This afternoon, I spent some time on the  StreetLightUSA® website. I found their Fall 2013 Wish List outlining the items needed for the girls’ homes. I can do that, I thought. The Christmas season has felt empty and commercialized for me for the past several years. It has lost so much of the joy it used to bring me. But when I imagined spending our Christmas season helping the girls at StreetLightUSA® my heart filled up with light and joy and excitement. Tears came to my eyes. I can’t do much, but I can do that. And for now that is enough.

Will you join me? 

To learn more about these issues and how you can help, here are some helpful resources: