When I think of the word, "slavery", I think of plantations in the South before the Civil War. It seems, to my mind, that slavery is a thing of the past. Sadly, this is a very naïve version of reality. The newest form of slavery is sex slavery. The victims of this current evil are women and children being sold into sexual slavery. For the longest time, I believed that this was a struggle only in other countries, but the more I read, the more I realize that this evil is present in the United States as well.
One such location where sex slavery thrives is Atlanta. Just last year alone, more than 3,500 cases of sex trafficking were reported to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center. Under federal law, any minor that is coerced into commercial sex is, in fact, a victim of sex trafficking. Atlanta's illegal sex industry makes nearly $290 million per year. Unfortunately, there is a lot to do in Atlanta-parties and clubs and so on. This is how this industry thrives in this city. Furthermore, the Atlanta airport is the busiest airport in the world, which certainly helps an illegal business maintain customers from literally all over the globe.
Both the FBI and the Justice Department are doubling down their efforts to end human slavery in this country. According to the Justice Department, coercion can be very subtle or overt. It should be mentioned though, that consent is never brought into consideration with child slavery cases because children cannot legally give consent.
From 2009 to 2011, the Justice Department has taken on at least 24 sex trafficking cases a year. In investigating these cases, victims have been found in mansions, brothels, bars, and strip clubs.
One recent case involved two adult males manipulating two women into romantic relationships, only to end up forcing them into prostitution. This occurred in Long Beach, California.
Bill Lewis, the assistant director of the FBI Los Angeles Field Office, said after this case closed, "Sex trafficking is not something that only happens outside of the United States, but victimizes Americans in our own backyards."
So how can you help end this atrocity that is plaguing this nation? Become educated about the topic. Read up on this injustice to better learn what is really going on in the world. Encourage others around you to read up on this topic as well. Pray for those enslaved and for those enslaving. Also, pray for legislation that would bring about an end to sex trafficking once and for all. While prayer may not seem like much, we serve a God that is present and active and He will protect those that need protecting and judge those that have committed crimes against the innocent.
Though human trafficking is a daunting evil, we have to believe that God is sovereign and all will be righted in His perfect timing. Please join me in praying for the victims and their families as we await the end of human trafficking in this country and around the world.