In honor of sex trafficking awareness month, I would like to use this blog to raise awareness of this devastating epidemic.
We've all been taught that slavery was abolished, and no longer exists in the US. However nothing could be further from the truth. In fact there are 20- 30 million slaves in the world today.
As parents, it's important to protect our children from this rising threat. We need to be aware of these predators. We know how they target their prey, and how we can prevent it.
One of the most common methods predators us- is "interest." Predators can find their prey through a casual meeting, social media (very commonly used), at college campuses, parties, or night clubs.. The predators will charm their victims, become their boyfriend/girlfriend, or intimate "friend".
They begin by offering necessities, showering them with gifts, paying compliments and offering "advice."
You see, these predators will prey off any weakness....They look for someone who is vulnerable or lonely. They take their time talking, showing them attention, and creating a "bond." And after they've earned the victim’s trust, the predator begins to ask for "favors" manipulating the victim into believing they're "helping" earn money by sleeping with strangers. This will continue until they add three or more into the "equation" or until the victim is forced to "serve" several, to dozens of sex buyers in a day.
It's important to know that not all victims are female, 45% of victims are male. It is crucial that you discuss this with your kids and make them well aware.
Inspector Anthony Favale, the head of the New York Police Department’s Vice Unit — Said it happens everyday, and everywhere. “If people think that their son or daughter is "too smart" to fall prey to that, we’ve seen girls with college degrees — girls, boys — that are articulate as can be. And I’m scratching my head saying, ‘How did they fall for this?' Those responsible are master manipulators, brilliant at finding weaknesses that these girls don’t even know exist. "
Regardless of how "smart" your child, teen or young adult might be, they need to be taught about these predators.
How can we prevent this:
1) LOVE is the answer! If we would set a high standard of love in our homes, then when someone comes to offer our kids a "counterfeit love," full of empty promises, and conditional gifts.. They'll be quick to identify it. Teach them about manipulating, real love doesn't manipulate.
2) Communicate with your kids.
Teach them and talk to them about manipulation, and flattery. Have conversations about sexual abuse, what is okay and NOT okay.
Every 2 minutes someone in the US is sexually abused, 29% of them are between ages 12-17. Talk the them about sex trafficking, and the dangers of social media. Our kids need to feel like they can talk to us about anything! So never make them feel judged! Listen and love them, that is the answer.
3) Be involved.
Monitor your kids phones, texts, social media accounts, and know their friends. Know who they talk to, who they're hanging out with....You're their parent, it's okay to be a nosy! It's part of your job.
4) Lastly, pray!
Pray for your children, "cover them" in scripture and trust that God will protect them.
If you suspect someone is a victim of sex trafficking, or maybe you or someone you know is being forced into sex trafficking, please call our 24 hour hotline at 1-888-373-7888. We can and want to help!!
I'm your Mrs International reminding you-
TO CHOOSE LOVE,