iStock_000008170684Small (2) - CopyDid you know that January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month? If you ask the average American when slavery ended and they know anything about history, they’d probably tell you in 1863 with the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.

The proclamation declared “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebellious states “are, and henceforward shall be free.”

Now fast forward 152 years to 2015. We still have people held in captivity in this nation… people forced to do things against their will… people bought and sold like property.

When people first hear about trafficking their minds go to places like Cambodia, India and Thailand. The reality is it takes place everywhere… even in the United States of America.

Where are you sitting? What city? Is it a suburb? Or possibly a more rural community? Chances are trafficking is taking place there. It is not a respecter of persons. It impacts every demographic you can think of: white, black, Hispanic, Asian, Middle Eastern, rich, poor, middle class, and so forth.

When I was doing research for Rescuing Hope I interviewed a former pimp. I asked him what type of girl he targeted. Just like you, I wanted to know the type of girl so I could make sure those I knew and loved weren’t the type. His answer stopped my in my tracks.

One that’s breathing.”

Stunned, I asked him to explain,

You can take me to any shopping mall and I can show you what I mean. Take a group of girls standing in the food court. The one who is fat or has zits on her face… I’d say, ‘Hey, beautiful,’ and I’d have her because no one ever tells her she’s beautiful. The girl who is standing back from the group a bit, just listening. I’d say, ‘What do you think?’ because no one ever asks her what she thinks. They don’t think she has anything to say. The girl who is talking nonstop, the one who is the leader of the pack, I’d invite her to a party because she doesn’t want to miss a thing.”

When I asked if trafficking was only a big city operation he told me location didn’t matter. If there was money to be made, he’d go there. I have talked with survivors who were trafficked in small towns as well as big cities.

This evil knows no boundary lines.

We have to do something.

We have to fight back.

While historically prostitution was marketed in brothels and on street corners, today someone can purchase a person with a phone call or a few short clicks on their computer screen. The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children division of Children and Families released data on this here.

I spoke with another former trafficker and she shared with me that she found her girls on the internet. She would troll Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. [Some of you are freaking out because I said she. It happens. Some girls go from being trafficked to trafficking others.]

These girl have no clue who is looking at their pictures. I’d look for the party girls, the girls who were taking selfies with pouty lips and revealing clothes because they were halfway there. All I had to do was convince them to come party with me.”


When our children are little, we tell them not to talk to strangers, yet when they get older they do so every day on the internet. They share information with people they don’t know in 140 characters or less without ever thinking about it. For some safety tips for teens on the internet and in general, go here.

Proverbs 22:6 tells us,

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”

We need to educate our children. Let them know about the dangers out there and do all we can to equip them. Will you raise your voice for hope?