About a month ago I attended The Atlanta Justice Conference and spent most of my Saturday learning about different aspects of Human Trafficking. The statistics are staggering. I’ve known about this issue for several years, but I really didn’t have a clue as to how rampant it is here in the US. It has been on my mind and brought up in conversations since. I am doing what I can, but it’s not enough. This is an issue I plan to pursue further involvement in because when something disturbs us deeply we need to take action.
I want to share a few statistics with you, especially for those unaware of just how bad this is becoming:
- The Super Bowl is the single largest sex trafficking event in the world. (I was stunned and had a much harder time enjoying the game this year).
- 27 Million people are trafficked every year forced into labor and sex slavery.
- Annual revenue is around $9.5 BILLION (though I’ve seen statistics that suggest it’s upwards of $32 billion worldwide).
- Atlanta is one of the top cities for Human Trafficking domestically.
- The average age of first being used for sex slavery went from 16 to now between the ages of 12-14.
- The average life span of victims is only 7 years after they are first trafficked.
- 83% of documented cases in the US are American born children.
- Within 48 hours of running away from home, children will be approached and try to be recruited.
Selling people is seen as “more prestigious” than selling drugs, and many drug dealers are switching to selling people. My stomach churned when I heard that said. This is not something that just happens in other parts of the world, though we should care about it no matter where it’s happening. It’s also happening right here in our own backyards. One of the biggest populations of at-risk youth domestically are those in foster care, but it also happens to your average American families as many children are approached via the internet.
Awareness is the first step to stopping the problem. Get the conversation started. Talk about it with friends, family, and neighbors. Contact your senators and representatives and tell them to support ending this atrocity. This is a growing problem, but it doesn’t have to be. Think about it. This is sadly a case of supply and demand. As long as there are men who are willing to pay for sex (especially with children) then sex slavery will continue. We need more men to get involved in the fight against Human Trafficking.
There is so much more to say on this issue, but I encourage everyone to start the conversation. Today people are putting a red X on their hand in support of this worthy cause. No, that isn’t going to solve the problem, but it surely will raise awareness, and that is where we need to start. #enditmovement
Contact your senators and tell them to support the End Modern Slavery Initiative Act 2015, which is bi-partisan legislation introduced by Senator Bob Corker (R – TN) and Robert Menendez (D – NJ). There are also some amazing non-profits working to rescue and restore victims, including Street Grace and Out of Darkness.