Not Just Urban Legends

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40 days-Day 2

Every day I get an email, message or text with a link to a news article or blog that is warning young women about the latest entrapment strategies being used by traffickers. Some of them sound outlandish, but some do manage to make me stop and think maybe we should take it seriously.

Honestly, it’s just hard to know.

Two articles have stood out to me recently, putting a level-headed spin on how traffickers entrap their victims. The first is an interview with a woman who survived sex trafficking. Click below to read it:

Police, survivors debunk human trafficking kidnapping myths

This next article is a compilation of interviews with several experts in the field. It’s good information. Again, click the link below to read it:

Posts paint wrong picture of human trafficking

As we step into this forty days of writing, I want to lay a foundation of good information. It’s important. We have to be smart, informed, not driven by the latest Facebook frenzy or scared by the “what-if’s.” We have to be able to discern fact from fiction in order to step in and be of service to victims, or to know who to trust with our money, should the Lord call us to give generously to organizations on the ground.

The fact is, most teen trafficking victims are forced into it by either a family member or “boyfriended” and groomed by a close friend or romantic partner. They are often runaways. Traffickers will use social media to befriend and gain the trust of teens and children, posing as a friend or peer. In the case of very young children, they are often vicitms of kidnapping but countless numbers of kids are sold by their very own parents. Yes, mothers and fathers will make money off of selling their little ones’ innocence.

Children and teens become enslaved by the very people they should be able to trust.

It’s no wonder, then, that it is so difficult for a survivor to successfully escape this life of bondage. How will they know who to trust? They are victim of lie after lie, betrayal after betrayal, broken promises and abuse by those who should be safe. The battle for their lives is huge and dark, riddled with spiritual warfare and, all too often, mental illness and substance abuse.

The first step to compassion is understanding. I’m sure you have heard the adage, “There, but for the grace of God, go I.” It is painfully true in the case of sex trafficking. I would love to believe I would have been immune to the wiles of a seedy and cunning boyfriend, but when I read the stories of survivors I can begin to see how they were fooled, entrapped, and manipulated.

The enemy is prowling about, like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. He wants our young people, and he wants the church to look the other way in judgement.

But what if we put ourselves in their shoes? What if we see their humanity and brokenness and refuse to look away?

What if our insistence on love and compassion pushed back the darkness and brought victims into the light?

What if we stepped into their stories and help write a new ending?

Are you ready to be part of the fight? Are you willing to be armed with information and actually use it?

To get started, write this number down.

1-888-373-7888

This is your connection to the National Human Trafficking Hotline. Keep it with you. Be ready.

Tomorrow, we will talk about the signs of human trafficking. You might be surprised by some of them. I certainly was.


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