The one uncomfortable thing you must know
Well, today's Uncomfortable January makes everyone uncomfortable. Most of us prefer to live in nice, comfortable and controlled environments. Human trafficking is not nice, not comfortable and about as uncontrolled as you can get.
It makes me uncomfortable to think of a child being sold for sex.
It makes me uncomfortable to think that my clothes may have been made in a sweatshop.
It makes me uncomfortable to know that more people are slaves today than ever before in history.
It makes me uncomfortable to know that the average price of a slave is $90.
It makes me uncomfortable to know that there are slaves in my city.
But, it is an uncomfortable thing we must all know about. I work with UnBound, an anti-trafficking organization, and have gotten very uncomfortable in the past year. We work with churches to end human trafficking and we currently work in 7 cities across the United States. This summer we will launch our first international chapter.
As much as I'd like to let you sit there with your coffee, check a few more emails or blogs and then get back to your day...I can't. People matter too much for us to live comfortably in denial or ignorance.
- There are 27 million people living in slavery.
- Human trafficking is the fastest growing crime in the world.
- In the US there are an estimated 100,000 children forced to work in the sex industry.
- Sex trafficking is happening where you live. In the country, in the city, in poor areas and in gated communities.
- The average age of entry into prostitution in the U.S. is 12.
The statistics go on, they can feel overwhelming and depressing....BUT there is something you can do.
Will you get uncomfortable with me?
It takes all of us. Teachers, students, moms, dentists, baristas, software developers, lawyers, writers... we all have a role.
- Trafficking victims are hidden in plain sight. They are at the grocery stores, the malls & the doctor's office. Educate yourself on how to spot and respond to signs of trafficking.
- Pray regularly. If you want to receive regular prayer updates via email, you can sign up here.
- Follow organizations on social media to keep updated on news and how to help. @unboundnow @love146 @theA21campaign @ijmhq are just a few.
I have personally been able to be a part of seeing two girls rescued this past year from sex trafficking. It has completely changed my life to sit and hear their stories first hand. It is worth getting uncomfortable on their behalf.
You can do something. No act is too small when we all work together. If you'd like to know more or find out how you can work to end trafficking in your community, shoot me an email or leave a comment.
When our grandchildren ask us where we were when the voiceless and the vulnerable of our era needed leaders of compassion and purpose, I hope we can say that we showed up, and that we showed up on time.