Today, I had the ultimate privilege of going to the North American Christians in Social Work (NACSW) Indiana Annual Conference: Let’s Address Human Trafficking. I didn't really know what to expect, but when I left the conference, I felt empowered, and so much more knowledgeable about sex-trafficking.
I have done research on sex-trafficking in the past, and even wrote an extensive feature on an organization Remember Nhu, that intercepts at-risk children.
However, I had absolutely NO IDEA how prevalent sex-trafficking is in America. I always just pictured it happening in other countries. And it does, but when I realized that trafficking is happening right in my own backyard…my world was rocked.
Many times, girls with a bad home life who run away, or who get kicked out, will end up being lured in by a seemingly kind, friendly man who promises to take care of her and a place to stay. Usually these girls, are at such a low point, that any type of care sounds amazing.
The men then set up the girls into a trap to make them pay for something, sometimes they will take a trip and after they take it he will tell her she needs to pay for it. The girls of course don’t have that kind of money. This is all part of the man’s plan. He then tells her that she needs to pay it back somehow, and tells her that he knows of a way she can make good money. And within that short amount of time, he enters her into the sex-trade, by selling her to men (sometimes 5 or more a night) for sex.
And the scariest thought? This literally happens all around us in America.
These men who lure girls in, are called “pimps”. When I realized what a “pimp” was, I was horrified. How could I have thought that being “pimp” was cool? I remember using it a lot during middle school, it may not be on the top charts of word usage now. But, where in the world did I ever learn that? These men are turning girl’s lives into a psychological mess, and I've been using their title as a synonym for cool?!
During the conference we discussed what we could do to be more aware of the sex-trafficking crisis. The biggest one that stuck out to me was not glorifying the sex-trade. My initial thought was, “why in the world would I do that?” The speaker went on to point out that joking around about strip clubs, hoes, prostitutes, rape, sluts, and even pimps is glorifying the trade.
I scribbled down so many thoughts that I had during the conference that I will blog about in the future. I want to keep writing about everything that I learned, because people need to know. It’s disturbing and it makes me really sad.
Talk to you tomorrow,
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