Sex Trafficking is Real

Three years ago, the closest I ever came to a victim of sex trafficking was Law and Order: SVU.

Today, my degree of separation is one.

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    My friends, K & K, have traveled to Cambodia and seen the results of human trafficking first hand. They work with Rapha House, an organization fighting child trafficking and sexual exploitation by bringing hope and freedom.

    They’ve touched the hands of victims. They’ve cried with the survivors. They’ve experienced the heinous abuse and degradation through the eyes of those who lived it.

    According to
    • The average age of a trafficked victim is 12-14 years old (U.S. Department of Justice)
    • 1.2 million children are being trafficked every year; this is in addition to the millions already held captive by trafficking (UNICEF)
    • Almost 300,000 American children are at risk for trafficking into the sex industry. (U.S. Dept of State)
    • There are girls as young as 5 and 6 years old in the U.S. that are forced to do sexual acts for economic gain by their pimp (USDOJ)

    . . . and what am I doing?

    Watching episodes on a television.

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    Another friend, DP, is part of an organization called the International Justice Mission. IJM is a human rights agency that brings rescue to victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression.

    In a nutshell, IJM fixes the legal system in the countries they are working in so that the offenders can be put to justice. Instead of just freeing slave victims, they work so the perpetrators can be arrested and convicted.

    A verse I hear constantly in conversations about IJM is Micah 6:8. I want to tattoo part of it on my foot.

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    You might be saying, “that’s great, but what am I supposed to do about it?”

    Thanks for asking!

    1. Don’t allow yourself to become a victim. Be safe. Be smart.

    2. Stop using products made by the victims. There are several sites that will tell you which brands and products are part of the Fair Trade movement. You can take a quiz to see roughly how many slaves are working for you. I didn’t go into full detail, so I am sure my number is actually higher.

    3. Become prayer partners with Rapha House or with IJM . . . or both!

    4. Both Rapha House and IJM have other “Take Action” ways you can get involved.

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    **Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

    Bethany Jett

    Bethany Jett loves sipping coffee and jamming in her planner while raising three boys with her college sweetheart Justin.

    July 10, 2012

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    1 Comment

    1. Misti Moss

      Kenadee was just talking about Rapha this morning on the way to cheer with Kagan and I. Randomly she was like "Mom, I really think our church and us need to do more to help Rapha House". She told me about what she knew and what she wanted to do to help. Ironic that your topic should be about that today as well.