I just watched the documentary “Chosen,” released by Shared Hope International.
I didn’t fully understand what “human trafficking” or “child sex trafficking” was before watching this video today.
It is an insidious, heart breaking problem facing our country’s youth.
Let’s become educated today…
What is Human Trafficking?
Human trafficking refers to the sex trade, but it’s so much more than prostitution, pornography, and strip clubs. Human trafficking is an organized method of enticement and coercion with the intention of robbing young women and girls of their power and freedom, subjecting themselves to a future of abuse and slavery.
“Pimps” are not just random strangers sought out by desperate girls in need of fast money. In fact, within organized human trafficking rings, pimps present themselves as legitimate, most often older and wealthy, boyfriends with whom the girls fall in love. From the time a girl is identified as a potential target, they become a “chosen” victim in spite of feelilng as though they are doing the choosing.
From the onset of the relationship, these young women are groomed as victims, becoming systematically more isolated from family and friends, relinguishing control of their choices and freedoms over to the traffickers, and sinking deeper and deeper into a dark underworld in which they are bought and sold, controlled and exploited; commodities in the sex trade marketplace.
Know the Warning Signs:
Young girls from all walks of life can- and are- targeted as potential victims of human trafficking. According to Chosen, we should be aware of the following red flags:
- A new, most often “older” boyfriend who empowers her to “stand up” to her parents or friends, leading to systematic isolation.
- Keeping their relationship “secret or hidden.”
- New tattoos, often of symbols, barcodes, or names.
- Evidence of receiving expensive gifts and services.
- Abrupt decisions to move away from home with the new love interest.
- Eventual physical abuse, drug exposure, rape.
The most distrubing thing about this documentary was the information that these girls are not stereotypical desperate, isolated, young women struggling with addictions, or on the fringe of society. They can be- and are- straight A honor students, high school cheerleaders, from “good families,” and with strong support systems.
Be Aware and Vigilant:
Anyone can fall victim.
If you suspect that someone you know could be involved with, or targeted for, sex trafficking, ACT QUICKLY. The organized crime involved in this enterprise moves quickly and insidiously. Before you can react, the young lady could be willingly abducted, then sold and gone.
If you suspect, ACT.
Call local law enforcement, stage an intervention.
Make a stand.
A life could be hanging in the balance.
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