Many people have watched the popular movie Taken starring Liam Neeson and assume that sex trafficking only goes on in Third World countries. The truth is that sex trafficking goes on right here in the US and it can appear in various contexts. I live in Rhode Island and have read articles in the local newspapers on a continual basis that prove that it goes on in my state.
A month ago a friend of mine from Rhode Island told me a story that happened to her granddaughter (also a Rhode Islander) earlier in the year. This fifteen-year old girl was hanging out with her girlfriends when they met up with a family member and his buddies. The group of guys asked the girls if they wanted to go for a ride and because one of the guys was a family member, they agreed.
Unbeknownst to them, the girls were brought to a hotel located in Cranston. Once inside, the guys proceeded to drug the girls and tell them that they were going to sell their bodies for sex. My friend’s granddaughter slipped into the bathroom, locked the door and called her father, who was related to one of guys. Her father drove immediately to the hotel, bust in the door and rescued his daughter while at gun point. Fortunately, no shots were fired. The family never called the police for fear of retaliation from the guys who knew where they lived.
There are statistics that say that around ninety-five percent of women or girls who are being trafficked have been sexually abused as children. I reckon that this is why I have joined in this fight to advocate for victims of sex trafficking. I was never trafficked commercially for sex, but I was sexually abused by several males throughout my childhood, and lived a promiscuous lifestyle for many of my teen and young-adult years as a result. When a girl is sexually abused as a child, she is made to feel dirty and worthless. She is taught that she is an object whose worth is only found in satisfying another’s sexual desires. She is especially easy prey for the one who bathes her with words of love and flattery. She wants to believe that his motives are pure; that he wants her for more than her body.
Women and girls (minors-estimated at 50% of those being trafficked globally) are being purchased like a piece of meat. Who are the girls on the other side of the computer screen? Who are the girls that are meeting in the hotel room? Who are the girls standing on the street corners? They are daughters, nieces and granddaughters. More importantly, they are daughters of the Most High God. They are treasured by God.
Lately, God has been bringing to my attention the women of the Bible who were known as sinners. I’ve read about Rahab, a harlot who was saved from death because she had faith in the God of the Israelites, and of women in the New Testament whom Jesus sat with and loved. There was the woman “who loved much because she was forgiven much.” She wouldn’t stop kissing the feet of Jesus. Then there was the Samaritan woman who married five times and was living unwed with another man. In another account I read of the woman who committed adultery. In each of these biblical accounts we see that Jesus did not look down on these women; He loved them! I feel that God is pouring into my heart compassion for the broken and abused women of my day. Yes, even the sinful ones.