Trafficking in the United States
It is difficult to face the realities of what goes on in our world, especially when it comes to such sensitive issues as sexual exploitation. We do not want to imagine a place where anyone we know is affected by this. On the flip side, hearts can also be hardened to the heartbreaking truths of each story when continually faced with traumatic stories and instances. All we can do is pray for God to give us His heart; one that is ready to listen but continues to stay tender.
One of the biggest questions we have been asked in the past year is about human trafficking in our own country. Does it happen here? What does it look like? Unfortunately, the answer is yes, it happens in our own backyard throughout the entire country, and, in a lot of ways, it looks similar to trafficking situations around the globe. Our most vulnerable populations, those who will not be sought if gone missing, are often the biggest targets.
According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in 2017, 1 in 7 child runaways reported to the NCMEC were likely victims of child sex trafficking. Out of those likely victims, 88% were in foster care or in the care of social services when they ran away. RAV is growing our heart for these kids who do not have a loving home to protect them as a child. Keeping your home a safe place for your kids and their friends can change their lives more than you could imagine.
In the United States, the vast majority of trafficked and/or sexually exploited people were victims of sexual trauma sometime in their life. Someone with a history of sexual abuse is in a much higher risk population than those without that past. Taking sexual assault and abuse more seriously is a direct path to taking human trafficking in the United States more seriously.
One of the most notable events recently to bring attention to human trafficking here is the massage parlor chain in Florida. Polaris Project, who runs the National Human Trafficking Hotline, set up a quiz for people to learn more about this type of trafficking that often can run in any town in plain site. If you are interested, please click the link below: