Take Action for National Human Trafficking Prevention Month!
What will you do for National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month?
National Slavery and Human Trafficking Month is a powerful way to begin the new year. At Courage Worldwide, we have defiant hope and are determined to eliminate this widespread crime against humanity. Human trafficking is a $150 billion dollar criminal industry — one that brutally profits from the exploitation of the most vulnerable. Estimates of 5 million victims of sex trafficking worldwide are low, as this crime often goes undetected (International Labour Organization).
It is easy for us to feel helpless in the face of trafficking: at its scale and scope, its hidden nature, and its attack on children who should be protected not abused and sold as a commodity for someone else’s twisted pleasure.
Sex traffickers force, fraud and coerce victims — the majority are vulnerable women and children — into situations so cruel it is unimaginable to many of us. Unfortunately, traffickers exploit vulnerabilities, and being a child is a vulnerability in itself.
Typically traffickers aren’t like in the movies, random strangers with white vans. They can be family members, “boyfriends” or “girlfriends” that gain the trust of innocent young women who then become trapped in cycles of manipulation and abuse, or even trusted members of the community. Traffickers can be of any age, race, gender, practicing any religion, and holding any level of power in society.
Physical abuse is not the only way a trafficker might hold a victim captive. Sometimes this is the case, but also through cycles of emotional manipulation and abuse, a victim’s fear for their own safety or for the safety of family members, or a victim’s lack of means to escape.
The girls at Courage House come from situations like these. We have heard the traumatic stories over and over again: girls as young as 8-years-old trafficked by their own mothers, young teenage girls who sell their bodies to help their families living in extreme poverty, girls tricked by “boyfriends” who turn out to be pimps. Each story is unique, yet pervading each one is the evil and horrifying nature of sex trafficking.
Sometimes learning this information can make the world seem a little darker, a little less hopeful. Yet, it can actually be the opposite: how can you fight something you don’t know exists? Gaining awareness and information is the first step in being able to change the world. Take the darkness and let it fuel your will to make a difference in the lives of the most vulnerable.
At Courage Worldwide, our mission is to help restore victims all over the world so they can follow their God-given destiny. One way you can take action is through directly supporting young girls here at Courage House, who were once victims of sex trafficking and are now in the process of healing and following their dreams.
It takes courage for girls to come to Courage House. It also takes courage for all of us to come together to fight this evil and truly make a change.
Founder and CEO, Courage Worldwide