Let me begin by saying thank you to each of you who left a comment on last Friday’s post. Your words encouraged me to keep getting off the porch—and also raised $120 toward ending the child sex trade.
$120? How is that possible? No, I did not get 120 comments on that post.
I got something better: seven women who matched my donations to IJM and Love 146! Because of the generosity of Lisa Bridges, Brenda Burnett, Tara Taylor Chase, Glyn Devereaux, Dianne Ross, Tania Runyan, and Tiffany Werner, we are now donating $7.50 ($3.75 to IJM and another $3.75 to Love 146) for every comment!
I am blown away by the generosity of these women, and humbled by all the responses to Friday’s post. I took one little step off the porch, and you all picked me up and carried me the rest of the way down.
Today, we’re going to look at the sad reality of sex trafficking. Here are some horrifying statistics (drawn mostly from the Love 146 website):
- Human trafficking is a $32 billion a year industry; only drug trafficking is a more lucrative crime. Almost $28 billion of that $32 billion comes from commercial sexual exploitation (prostitution, pornography, sex tourism).
- In 2006: 800,000 people were trafficked across international borders. This number does not include people who were trafficked within their own country.
- 1.2 million children are trafficked every year.
- Of those trafficked across international borders, 80% are female and almost half are minors. Most of them are sold into the sex trade.
- Every minute, two children are trafficked for sexual exploitation. That means that in the time you’ve read this post so far, two more children have fallen prey to greed and perversion.
- Even in the United States, 100,000 children are forced into prostitution or pornography every year.
Those numbers are staggering and horrifying and, at least for me, mind-numbingly inaccessible.
Because the truth is: those numbers aren’t numbers. Each number stands for a real person, a human being who is precious in the sight of God.
Each of those 1.2 million children has a unique story and, more, a unique soul. And each of those children’s souls is being devoured and destroyed by predation and exploitation.
Reading some of these stories, hearing them, watching them, I feel ill and overwhelmed and powerless. I want to turn away, to pretend such horror does not exist. But Jesus does not turn away from the unimaginable suffering of children.
And as someone who claims to follow him, I cannot turn away, either. I will not turn away. I do not yet know what I will do beyond this blog series, other than weep and pray pray pray for God’s deliverance of every last one of these children. For now, I will weep and pray—and testify.
Here, then, are the stories of two girls, kidnapped in Cambodia and sold to a brothel in Phnom Penh. The words are theirs, transcribed from this heart-breaking video; only the line breaks are mine.
The worst part
was the fear. The fear
was overwhelming. If you resisted,
they electrocuted you. Sometimes,
they electrocuted me
twice a day if I
argued too much.
They wet your shirt and they
tie you up so
you won’t try to run away.
They put a wire—a live wire—
inside of you.
In the room, they tied your
hands, and outside
there was a guard.
These are the rooms they’d use
to torture girls and
electrocute them. There must
in these rooms. I spent
in a place like this. I’m cold
I won’t sleep.
They stitched me up—
I got pregnant
The second time
they waited till I
was four months pregnant before
they gave me the abortion. I begged
for mercy, and the mama-san
stabbed my eye with
Your comment on this post will raise $3.75 for International Justice Mission, which fights slavery around the world, and another $3.75 for Love 146′s aftercare programs for girls like Pross and Sena.