This isn’t going to be an easy post to write or for people to read. I’m not going to apologize for it or sugarcoat anything either. I have to write about a very important epidemic: the sex trade industry.
Once a year, our monthly Women Alive ministry meeting, hosts volunteers there to talk about the sex trade industry. They hold the event every October, which is almost a year away; but isn’t it better to be aware ahead of time?
Our women’s ministry started getting involved about a couple of years ago. Most people believe that slavery was abolished a long time ago. History lessons anger us because we can’t answer the question: how we could have possibly allowed slavery to go on for so long? Well, I hate to inform you about this, but I don’t have the answer and slavery still exists.
There are thousands, upon thousands, of women and children victimized repeatedly and trapped in prostitution, pornography, and all of the other horrible things that take place in the sex trade industry in countries like India, Cambodia, Nicaragua, Nepal, and in the “land of the free” United States.
One statistic that was shared (based upon lots and lots of research) that between 75-90% of prostitutes were sexually abused in their childhood. That is a scary and sad statistic. Evil men prey on vulnerable women and children. They promise them a real job, which turns out to be a lie, and then they are raped, held against their will, and sold into slavery.
One organization in Jacksonville is called Rethreaded – a nonprofit that teaches women who have gotten out of the sex trade job and life skills. The organization sells the items – think handbags, etc – so the women make money to survive and don’t turn back to the horrible lifestyle. You can’t rescue women and not give them life skills. They learn to cook, sew, nutrition, conflict management, computer literacy, and budgeting. It costs $8.25 for one hour of training and it’s a 3 month program. If you would like more information on this organization and how you can get involved, check out their website at: www.rethreaded.com. I’ve also posted the link on my Resources page.
Another organization you should check out is International Justice Mission – they have a Facebook page. They do exactly what their name implies. They send people to different countries to rescue women out of brothels and get them to shelters. A similar organization is called House of Hope. Another organization is called The Joyful Heart Foundation – founded by actress Mariska Hargitay of Law and Order: SVU. Their goal is to educate to end domestic and dating violence.
We have got to do something about this! How can we just sit by, knowing about the evil happening just down the darn street and not help! It could even be helping our neighbors. We have no idea about someone’s daily struggle unless we get involved. Yes, it’s messy and ugly. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. Psalms 8:11 “God is a just judge, and God is angry with the wicked every day.”
Some may ask: where is God in all of this? Let me tell you something. God knows every single name of every single person who has or is suffering in this evil industry. He is angry and He wants the industry to be stopped. He wants every woman and child rescued. He wants us to be His hands and feet to stop sex slavery and abuse.
Most women and children do not have a “freedom” story. Let God use you to help save lives. My prayer is that one day, each of us will have a story to share where a woman or child says to us: “Thank God for you. If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t be here right now. I wouldn’t have been rescued if it weren’t for you. I have hope now.” If you have a story where you have dealt with similar evil, don’t let the enemy silence you with shame and fear. Speak out! If you’ve been helped, share your story. If you haven’t had healing, get help. Please check out the Resources Tab on the top of my website for more information.
The Psalms, and Isaiah 53 & 54 are great verses of comfort. The ones that jumped out at me are: “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed,” 53:4-5.
“No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me,’ says the Lord.” 54:17.
“[God] Who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry. The Lord gives freedom to the prisoners. The Lord opens the eyes of the blind; the Lord raises those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the strangers; He relieves the fatherless and widow; but the way of the wicked He turns upside down.” Psalm. 146:7-9. “Those who sow in tears shall reap joy.” Psalm. 126:5.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, but it’s also Domestic Violence Awareness month. We should be focused on these issues for more than one month per year because people suffer from them more than one month per year.