4 Ways You Can Fight Sex Trafficking

Image credit: Polaris Project

Sex trafficking is a global epidemic. Human trafficking is a $150 billion dollar industry. Sex trafficking makes up around 45% of all human trafficking cases. In the United States, nearly 640,000 people are trafficked. Fighting sex trafficking in the United States can appear impossible. Why bother trying to fight a crime that won't have any end? I understand this thinking. Expecting human trafficking to end would require every human on the planet to be against this crime, and unfortunately as long as sin exists, human trafficking will continue to thrive. We can do our part to not contribute to this industry. What can we do to fight this issue? I have come up with four simple and effective ways that you can fight sex trafficking.

#1: Refuse to Pay for Sex Trafficking.

The porn industry is inexplicably connected to sex trafficking. People involved in the porn industry may not always be victims of sex trafficking, but sex trafficking does exist in pornography. You don't know who is performing consensually or if the content is legal. There's also the potential that a trafficker uploads content on pornographic websites of their victims "performing." Porn normalizes sex trafficking. As described by Fight The New Drug, "Clicking, downloading, or consuming videos and images sends the message that sexual entertainment is acceptable at the cost of sexual exploitation, and funds advertising dollars that in turn can fuel trafficking and exploitation." If you or someone you know is struggling with porn addiction, check out Fortify or Love Always Ministries. Do not line the pockets of traffickers and owners of porn sites.

#2: Learn the Red Flags.

Knowing the signs of sex trafficking is an important task in fighting this issue. You can find several stories of normal civilians rescuing victims of sex trafficking, just by knowing the signs and red flags. OnWatch provides training in recognizing and understanding sex trafficking. You can also visit sites like Polaris Project or the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to read more. In learning these facts, you can also teach your friends and family what to watch out for, thus making more people aware of the crime. 

#3: Donate to Anti-Trafficking Organizations.

This is an easy way to fight human trafficking. Donate what you can to trustworthy organizations. You should be cognitive of who you are donating to, but that's why I wanted to include this. To provide a list of organizations you can easily donate to. The Tim Tebow Foundation, O.U.R., Fight The New Drug, and Deliver Fund are all excellent organizations to donate to. All these organizations are doing incredible work to fight sex trafficking in the United States and worldwide. Check them out!

#4: Take Pictures of Hotel Room.

This one definitely threw me off. The more I read, the more I understood why this is important to know. A common human trafficking myth is that the crime only occurs in illegal or underground industries. Hotels and motels are common places for human sex trafficking to happen. Unlike apartments or businesses, a hotel or motel room provides traffickers anonymity. The ability to pay cash, the ability to change locations quickly, and underprepared staff makes hotel rooms an easy place to make money. How does taking a few photos of your hotel room necessary in fighting sex trafficking?  In many cases, victims are advertised online in these rooms, but many hotel rooms appear the same, making it impossible to find where a trafficker and/or victim were staying. Fortunately, there is an app called TraffickCam. This free app is available for iOS and Android. You can upload pictures from your hotel or motel room onto the app. Law enforcement can view these photos, learn where human trafficking has happened, and track down the victims and their perpetrators.

Please, familiarize yourself with the signs of human trafficking. I cannot stress this enough. Polaris Project reported that 22% of reported human trafficking cases in hotels or motels came from the victim. The rest of the reported cases came from guests who suspected suspicious activity or came in contact with the victims. Change begins with one, and that "one" could be you.

Sex trafficking is everywhere. There is no way to avoid this. This problem will not magically disappear. I believe as long as sin exists, human trafficking will exist. That doesn't mean we have to stand down. This is a global fight, and it will take many to stop these evil men and women who chose profits over people. It isn't easy, but it's worth it. Will you join me in this fight?

If you suspect human trafficking or know of someone in a human trafficking situation, contact law enforcement or call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text HELP or INFO to 233733.

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