This is one of those “good news/bad news” stories.
The FBI conducted a raid in various sites around the nation resulting in the arrest of 120 human traffickers and the rescue of 84 children from the illegal sex trade industry.
That’s the good news.
The bad news, of course, is that this sort of thing is happening all across our country and is receiving far too little attention. Consider that the youngest child victim rescued was 3 months old. Yes, you read that right: three months old! The average age of the 84 victims rescued is 15 years old, but in Colorado, a man offered to sell for sex two children to undercover agents, one five-years old and the other three months old. The price was $600.
Consider, too, how much of the news has been consumed by the Harvey Weinstein scandal. Do I even have to ask if this news will receive equal attention?
Which makes me wonder: Exactly what has to happen before our nation begins to take this issue seriously? We don’t know yet if real change will take place in Hollywood as a result of the Weinstein story. My bet is no, but I’m pretty cynical when it comes to the entertainment industry and their interest in putting people first. The abuse of women and children has been going on for decades, after all, and it’s been a open secret, yet nothing has been done to stop it. In fact, the only thing that has been done is manipulation of the various media to keep the story covered up.
Will news of this raid and the extreme youth of some of the victims bring enough attention to human trafficking that states, law enforcement, the media, and families will begin to take is seriously?
It begins at home, after all. The pimp who tried to sell the five-year old and three-month old to undercover agents for $600 was a “friend” of the children’s family. Parents need to be aware that this is happening and what they can do to protect their children.
Here is a link to information on sex trafficking and ideas on what we parents can do to protect our children. The most important thing, of course, is to have an open and engaging relationship with our children so we can talk about these things in a serious and effective way.
Click to access Fact_Sheet_Parents_Guardians.pdf
The National Human Trafficking Hotline is: 1-888-373-7888.
Here is the link to the Community Coalition Against Human Trafficking, the local organization here in east Tennessee, fighting human trafficking:
Be Christ for all. Bring Christ to all. See Christ in all.