For those that do not know, January is human trafficking awareness month, something that Christians stand against, but many do not know is still very much a problem in the world, not only overseas, but in our own country. Sex trafficking alone is a $10 billion dollar industry in the United States alone, not including other nations or trafficking such as forced labor or domestic servitude. 80% of victims end up back on the streets without a safe place to call home after they are removed from trafficking.
Psalm 82:3-4 reminds us:
“Give justice to the poor and the orphan; uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute. Rescue the poor and helpless; deliver them from the grasp of evil people.” (NLT)
The United States’ Department of Human Services actually has a whole campaign of sharing information, facts, and red flags to look out for on a special Instagram page @DHSBlueCampaign. Here are a couple of our favorite that you may want to consider sharing, even if it isn’t January.
One Christian ministry that is attempting to help is Refuge for Women, an aftercare program for women who were trafficked and sexually exploited. The non-profit specializes in long-term care for women across the united states with free, safe housing, evidence-based and trauma-informed care, and a launching point for them to gain their life back.
Here is a video of one of the stories of the women who found hope through this program.
Beyond this, most other initiatives are local with a collaboration between state and/or county funds with the manpower and mission of the Church. If we are to truly want to help those struggling with mental health, substance misuse problems as well as other hidden or developmental disabilities, this population is in immediate need of our assistance now.
If you want to see a list of certified Trafficking Shelters in your state, though many states have none and you will need to look to local resources, you can find a list of them here at the National Trafficking Sheltered Alliances’ list here.
What organizations, trainings, or resources have you seen used in your area?