A FEW FACTS AND FIGURES
Approximately 24.9 million people are trapped in forced slavery, domestic servitude or sex trafficking across the world. Of these, 4.8 million are victims of sex trafficking and over 21% of this number are children. That’s over 1 million children being trafficked for sex, world-wide, as you read this.
In 2019, 421,394 children were reported missing in the USA and 250,000 in Europe. Thankfully, most children who go missing are found within a week, but there are many who are not. In Europe, 27% of those recorded missing in 2019 were still not found within the year. There is a strong likelihood that many of these children could have been sold into slavery and for sexual exploitation.
The average age at which youngsters are trafficked into the sex industry in the US is 12-13 and, once ensnared, they are only expected to live another 7 years unless they are rescued. This is likely to be a similar story worldwide.
It is believed that up to 1 billion children throughout the world suffered physical, sexual, emotional violence or neglect in one year (2019/20). Even young infants experience horrific abuse.
According to Thorn.org, 450,000 child sexual abuse files were uploaded in 2004. This had increased to 70 million by 2019. These statistics are increasing exponentially year on year. Enough is Enough states, 'children 10 years old and younger account for 22%of all online obscene-content consumption in the 18-years-old-and-under category'.
IT’S TIME TO TALK
Spreading awareness about human trafficking is one of the best ways to help outside of prayer as there are many people in the dark about this issue. Once somebody is made aware of human trafficking, you never know who that person might then encounter in their lifetime and what position God might put them in to help someone.
It’s time to talk to our teenagers...most trafficked teens are runaways who have been lured on the internet or even in person at school by someone promising them a relationship or material possessions. Sometimes they lure them by blackmail or threats. Unbelievably, there are even other teenagers in schools that are recruiters.
Our teenagers (and younger) are the target and, because they are, we need to make them aware of these dangers as we cannot always be with them. They are at a stage in life when they’re starting to step out on their own and get a taste of independence. We don’t know who they might talk to at school, on the internet and social media or who their friends are involved with and might introduce them to.
This is serious because, once lured away, it’s estimated that only 1% are ever rescued. Why? Because once these men or women have them in their grip, the first thing they will do is break their spirit. They sodomise and gang rape the person over a period of time until the light is no longer seen in their eyes and they will never reach out for help. Once broken, they can be sold up to 40 times a day.
This is how pornography and sex trafficking are directly linked to one another. The rape and abuse of these trafficked children will be filmed and uploaded to a porn website where millions will have access to it.
Our young people are full of life and energy and inquisitive about all sorts of things, but they don’t have the wisdom needed to filter out the things that are going to be harmful to them. They need to know, for example, that pimping isn’t a funny joke. It is acceptable in today’s society to be a pimp for Halloween. It’s glamorised in Hollywood comedy videos. It’s in the music they listen to. It’s in video games like Grand Theft Auto where you can actually work for pimps, and there is a book available for anyone to buy called Pimpology, which teaches you how to become a pimp.
This is the world that teenagers are immersed in and it is they who are craved by these men and women. We know it is very hard to talk about, but this information could save their lives and it could help put an end to the demand for human trafficking.
We need to be spending much time in prayer over our children and the younger generation and we need to talk to our teens about pornography and prostitution in an appropriate way. In a world that is absolutely saturated in sex, and where promiscuity and casual sex is normalised, we need to tell them what Jesus says about it and we want them to know about their worth as unique individuals, created in God’s image, and the purpose and meaning that following Jesus will give to their lives.
Matthew 5 verse 28: Jesus says, But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Pornography is highly addictive, has devastating effects and is causally linked with human trafficking. To see just how destructive the effects of pornography can be, the following link is very informative and recommended reading: http://marripedia.org/effects_of_pornography
Pornography destroys lives and families in so many ways. It’s something that can be watched in secret and yet destroy the person inwardly and destroy their family. The person who views porn is also causing another vulnerable child or adult to be trafficked because of their demand for more and more stimulating images and videos.
It is something that needs to be eradicated from the home and from the internet completely, and it is something that we should be talking about with our families and discussing the dangers and the damage it can and will inflict. We must have these conversations with our spouses, our children and our friends, no matter how uncomfortable they are. The damage of falling into these traps and snares is incalculable.
Pray that pornography will stop being viewed in the home and that it will stop being glossed over as somehow acceptable. We need to see it for what it truly is and say that it has no place in the church, in the home or on the internet.
The website www.covenanteyes.com is recommended for those who might be struggling with this issue. It helps with screen accountability and supports those who want to be free from porn addiction.