Is your daughter safe, or vulnerable?
That’s a scary question. It’s also somewhat broad, intentionally. People share articles on Facebook all the time about parents who need to ‘back off’ and let their children have more freedom.
I completely disagree. And I’m prepared to tell you why.
Growing up in the good old days
Back in the 80s, I could ride my bike, alone, around the neighborhood. At night. Or with my neighbors, two boys. We rode bicycles to the Convenience Store and bought baseball cards. I really liked hanging out with my neighbors. They were my age. They were nice. They were fun. We played a lot of wiffle ball, tetherball, spotlight. We were just kids and had good, clean fun. Being a kid though, I didn’t think too much about bad stuff happening or if these were dudes I could trust, or if they had ulterior motives. It never would have crossed my mind, as a child, that a male peer, or man, could take advantage of a young girl.
But why would it have crossed my mind? I don’t really remember any education related to those topics or any adults mentoring me on such dangers. Maybe I had some exposure to this kind of information, but clearly I didn’t retain it, and it certainly didn’t make an impact on me as to where I remember it today.
Back in the 80s, though, I don’t think keeping girls out of traffic was such a problem.
But now it is.
First, I want to distinguish that I’m not referring to general safety. That’s just a given with parenting. What I’m talking about is a whole new deck of cards.
And it could happen to your daughter. Or son.
Become aware of sex trafficking
As a working mom, I don’t have a lot of discretionary time. So it was out of my routine to start watching a random movie on a work night. I don’t generally watch films I’ve not heard of or read about. But for some reason, I started watching this film Eden.
And it changed my life.
Eden has been in the news again lately. Regardless of any controversy with this film, its message is relevant and the story needed to be told. Eden is based on the life of a girl, Chong Kim, who had been sex-trafficked for four years. She trusted a boy she thought was her boyfriend. But he sold her to traffickers. Sex traffickers. Sex. Sex. Sex. She was sold, as a human, to have sex with strange men. Over and over and over.
Don’t you think, or hope, your daughter will fall in love some day? And don’t you think you will want her to fall in love with someone who would never, ever do this to her? For money?
After watching Eden, I went through a series of emotions. Horrified at the content contained in this film. Not because it was graphic, but because it’s happening to young girls in America right now. Frustrated by my own ignorance to not realize this was occurring – like, at all, like all the time. To children. Girls who haven’t even had their first kiss! Motivated to help get justice, some way, some how, right now.
Working moms. Stay-at-home-moms. Moms-to-be. No matter who you are, all Americans need to become aware of sex trafficking. Human trafficking. Slavery. These are all one in the same, and it can happen to your daughter. Or son.
First, watch Eden by yourself. Do it. If you have a daughter around age 10 or 11, make her watch it with you the second time. Then you both discuss what it means and how she can be aware of potential danger. There’s a difference in being overprotective and being smart protective. Educate your daughter. Educate yourself. Share this information among your circle of friends, at church, at schools, and in your community. Traffick911 is a great, trusted resource. Do not be naive to think something like this could never happen to your kid.
It’s happening to other people’s daughters every day, hour, and minute.
A growing industry
Sex trafficking is an evil, $32-billion-dollar-a-year industry that makes money by selling young girls. Sex trafficking is the second most profitable crime in the world and U.S.; first is drugs, but not for long. Former drug pushers are switching trades to sex trafficking because they can only sell a drug once, but they can sell a girl over and over. And over. And over.
The targeted ages for sex trafficking are 12-18. Trust me, the more you research about this crime, the more you will wish you didn’t know but need to know.
Here are some of the devastating facts I have learned through research:
- Sex trafficking is not just happening in other countries. It’s happening here, on U.S. soil, in local cities everywhere.
- Top sex trafficking cities are Houston, New York, Las Vegas, New Orleans. There are more towns.
- Trafficked girls are forced to have sex with multiple people 24-48 times a day.
- Big events, like the Super Bowl, incite the pimps to bring in extra ‘resources’ to accommodate the clients who fuel this crime industry: middle-age white men.
- Girls who are kidnapped, sold, or coerced into sex trafficking will die within seven years, either from an STD, drugs, or other method, like murder or suicide.
- High school boys are being recruited by pimps and traffickers to ‘get a girlfriend’ and ‘earn a car’.
- Pimps target young girls who have self-esteem issues, family problems, and/or a history of abuse. Vulnerable girls. Is your daughter vulnerable? Self-conscious?
Pause for a moment. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Now picture your child, kidnapped by someone you and/or your daughter trusted. Locked up in a place she can’t leave. Even if she found a way to leave, she has no identification because it was stolen. Forced to have sex up to 48 times a day with multiple strange men. Her innocence snatched. Her ability to trust destroyed.
Working moms, you owe it to your children to educate yourself and your family about this increasingly evil crime. You are wise enough to know that no one is exempt from tragedy, adversity, and the targets of those sans a conscience. You have an obligation to educate your family, communities, and schools about sex trafficking and how it is happening in your local town. No place is immune to this evil industry.
Films about sex trafficking
We all relate to movies. They are visual. They tell the story. So go see these two new films about sex trafficking. Tickets are limited, so get yours now.
The first film is called 8 Days. It’s based on real events of a girl sold into sex trafficking. A lot can happen in 8 days. 8 Days opens this fall in various cities. Go see it. This story could be about your daughter.
The second film about sex trafficking also comes out this fall: In Plain Sight. In Plain Sight is a documentary produced and narrated by Christian recording artist, Natalie Grant. Sex trafficking is happening in America, in plain sight.
Would you want your daughter to endure this kind of trauma for one minute, much less 8 days? Would you be able to stand yourself if you knew sex trafficking was happening In Plain Sight in your community? Working moms, help take action. That’s what we do best. If you have kids, or know people who do, or you just believe in fighting injustices, help spread the word about this growing, evil crime. Help prevent #sextrafficking.