Exclamations of “How horrible!” Tears in the eyes of emotional women. Heads shaking. Questions, “How could someone do that to the innocent?” Mouths gaping in shock. Angry sighs. These are often our reactions to videos, statistics, and presentations on human trafficking… and should be. We should want to cry out for the innocent. We should be angry at those who exploit others – those who allow human trafficking to happen.
We should want to do something.
But how many times have we seen a presentation or heard a statistic about trafficking victims just to throw a few dollars – whatever minimal cash we happen to have on us – in the donation jar, discuss the horrors of the situation on the way home, and wake up the next morning feeling fine?
When is it time to do something?
“But human trafficking is a problem in faraway lands… it’s a job for social workers and missionaries. There’s nothing I can do besides give a couple of bucks when I hear a presentation.”
Wrong. Traffickers bring women and children to the U.S. from other countries right under our noses – Denver is one of the top ten U.S. cities for child sex trafficking (www.projectrescue.com/resources). But what about the blonde haired, blue eyed girl who looks like she’s been used up, standing on the street corner? What about the U.S. citizen who needs quick money to feed his drug addiction?
What are we, as a community, doing that makes it so people can’t meet their basic needs without selling their own or someone else’s body? What did we do for that girl when she was 14 and was kicked out of her house? A pimp was there, ready to “love” her – where were we? What did we do for the drug addict so that he could get help for his addiction and find a good paying, legitimate job? Where were we when he turned to drugs to ease the pain of abuse or neglect?
I could give quote and statistic a million times over as to why we need to get involved, but I don’t think I need to repeat the multiple presentations you have undoubtedly heard. The issue is less about statistics or categories (who deserves to be categorized as a victim) and more about every person deserving to live life to the fullest. My only plea is: If not you, then who is going to do something?
What are you going to do?
Read Part II for ideas and what Sox Place is doing.
Written by Kara Knight