Have you ever heard of the name Rachel Lloyd? She is the founder of GEMS in New York City. If you go to the GEMS website you’ll discover “Girls Educational & Mentoring Services (GEMS) is the only organization in New York State specifically designed to serve girls and young women who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking. GEMS was founded in 1998 by Rachel Lloyd, a young woman who had been commercially sexually exploited as a teenager. GEMS has helped hundreds of young women and girls, ages 12–24, who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking to exit the commercial sex industry and to develop to their full potential. GEMS provides young women with empathetic, consistent support and viable opportunities for positive change.”
I had the privilege of hearing Rachel speak last night at an event in downtown Atlanta. She partners with many Atlanta organizations who are in the fight against human sex trafficking.
What does this have to do with you? The Word of God says it has a lot to do with you. The young ladies being exploited are children. They are someone’s daughter, someone’s sister, someone’s friend. Matthew 7:12 says “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you.” If you were one of these young girls, you would want someone to stand up for you. You’d want someone to say “This is wrong!” You’d want someone to fight for your freedom and say “This will not happen in my city. Not on my watch!” So what are you doing?
Many of you don’t realize that 7,200 men have sex either knowingly or unknowingly with minors in metro Atlanta a month. 42% of these Johns come from north of the perimeter, meaning they are primarily white, middle class, suburbanites. They are called Johns because they are every day ordinary people you pass on the streets. They live in your community; they work in your office complex. You see them on a daily basis and they don’t look like monsters. They don’t look like Satan, but they are pawns in his hand destroying the lives of young girls, but they are also unknowingly destroying their own lives as well.
Matthew 25:40 says “And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’” Whatever we do for these young girls, we do for Jesus. So what can we do?
We can be a voice for them. Write our congressmen demanding stronger laws, like the recent HB 200, that see these young girls as victims instead of criminals. Lobby and let your congressmen know what issues are important to you. Be the squeaky wheel that gets the grease. If you make enough noise, if you take the time to drive into your city to talk with them, you’re telling them your voice matters. Remind them you are their constituent and you want them to fight this issue.
We can reach out to young people in our community. Pour into their lives teaching them they have value and worth, so they will not become targets for predators. You can do this by being a mentor in your local schools, working with youth in your church, volunteer with the homeless, or simply reach out to those in your neighborhood. Teach our young men to honor females instead of viewing them as objects for their selfless pleasure. When we treat everyone as equals before our children, they will start to view everyone as equal.
We can do it! You can do it! You can become a Voice for the voiceless.
For more information on ways you can get involved in the battle against human sex trafficking of minors, you may go to: