Children without families are the most vulnerable in our society
One of the biggest preventers of child abuse is being protected by the family of origin. Of course abuse of every time happens to minors even in good homes but children from stable, safe home are far more likely to not be abused or experience exploitation. Minors who experience sexual abuse often will later experience exploitation 80-90% report this to be true. Furthermore, of the minors who have some reason to be in the foster case system it often leads to exploitation later in life (70% of victims/survivors report having been in the foster care system).
“I always wanted a family – but I never got the chance. Even to this day, after surviving CSEC, (Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children), I have no family; I always just wanted to be loved.” – Zoe
Of survivors who have experienced this life circumstances a few things can be noted: Survivors have a deep need to be loved and belong (traffickers are aware of this and capitalize on it). Survivors are used to be required to pack up and move often, not knowing where they are going. Survivors are used to being treated poorly and have at an early age developed strong survival skills because it was necessary.
So, what is one of the best things you can do to prevent child sex trafficking? First, don’t be so surprised that it is happening. We all have a desperate need to be love, valued, belong and want deeply to be part of a family. Some of us don’t get that chance and the traffickers know that so that have taken advantage of people who have no one. It’s no surprise really, the traffickers make a profit, the victims get used and often destroyed (again). Take care of each other, your kids, the people in your church, your school, your neighborhood. – We belong to each other, the privacy is literally killing us all.
Secondly, Let’s talk. Talk to each – no matter the age about this issue and about the risks, down to looking at porn and other media influence like ads that talk about ‘pimpit’. I’m sorry, but it is simply not acceptable or funny. No, I am not being sensitive but when our kids see it in media at every turn, from clothing, to billboards, to commercials, to ads that sell merchandise it is unacceptable. We need to end an acceptable ‘pimpculture’ and that will take changing our current culture.
Furthermore, Speak up. Don’t be afraid to speak up for someone you see, a friend or stranger who simply seems like they are in danger. Know the signs of human trafficking, if you don’t read through this website, my Facebook or many anti-trafficking sites. If something seems off to you – then contact law enforcement or the person who could do that, we simply can’t stay silent any longer because people are losing their lives.