The bag was put over their head, darkness closed in, as their hands were bound and they were shoved into the car. The bag would be taken off their head, and they would see the light, but the darkness would still be all around them, suffocating their spirit.
Taken away to begin a new life. A life of misery! A life of being sold into sex trafficking. One more number in statistics that are growing too high. One more hurting child . One more person’s life that is changed in the blink of an eye!
This danger is so real and the statistics are sickening!
Trafficking primarily involves exploitation which comes in many forms, including: forcing victims into prostitution, subjecting victims to slavery or involuntary servitude and compelling victims to commit sex acts for the purpose of creating pornography.
According to some estimates, approximately 80% of trafficking involves sexual exploitation, and 19% involves labor exploitation.
- There are approximately 20 to 30 million slaves in the world today.
- According to the U.S. State Department, 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year, of which 80% are female and half are children.
- The average age a teen enters the sex trade in the U.S. is 12 to 14-year-old. Many victims are runaway girls who were sexually abused as children. Not all are girls, there are young boys being sold as well.
- California harbors 3 of the FBI’s 13 highest child sex trafficking areas on the nation: Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego.
- The National Human Trafficking Hotline receives more calls from Texas than any other state in the US. 15% of those calls are from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
- Between 14,500 and 17,500 people are trafficked into the U.S. each year.
- Human trafficking is the third largest international crime industry (behind illegal drugs and arms trafficking). It reportedly generates a profit of $32 billion every year. Of that number, $15.5 billion is made in industrialized countries.
- The International Labor Organization estimates that women and girls represent the largest share of forced labor victims with 11.4 million trafficked victims (55%) compared to 9.5 million (45%) men.
It is scary and it really is everywhere, not only in the big cities. We live in a small town, but we are very close to a major interstate, easy access for a quick getaway. Unfortunately the numbers have been rising in our area! We have had talks about it with our children, not to scare them, but to make them aware!
The movie Taken portrays the horrors of human trafficking pretty well. Yes it is a fictional movie, BUT…it does show how quickly someone can be taken and how fast they can be transported out of the country. This is a $32 billion a year industry, these people know what they are doing; they unfortunately know how not to get caught and how not to let their victims be found.
I think one of the most poignant scenes in the movie for me was when the young girls were being auctioned off. My Mother’s heart was breaking and silently screaming. I knew everyone was just actors on the movie, but it was too real. There are too many young girls that are not actresses, they are being forced to play a role in a depressing never ending play.
These men that lure children away are enticing and charming. As the statistics mentioned, a lot of these young teens are runaways. These vile men prey on them. They promise them elaborate things, anything looks good to these vulnerable teens. They are looking for an escape from what they are running away from. Looking for shelter, these men offer that and more. They spin the web to attract the fly.
They smoothly make grand promises to the teen, and their young mind gets excited, thinking how their life can change. They put on the charm, before placing the “bag” over the child’s head. By the time the child realizes the truth, it is too late, and their hearts are shattered.
One troubling local incident happened the other week. It may not have had anything to do with sex trafficking, but it definitely was suspicious. I am pretty confident that the man didn’t have anything good in mind!
It is the time of year for small town fairs, and this night 3 pretty teens were enjoying themselves at the fair. They did karaoke, and as they were walking away from their performance, a young man came up to them. He gave them high compliments about their singing and dancing. He continued to say that he knows this may sound strange since we are in a small town, but he has a buddy who would be very interested in meeting these girls. His buddy works for a large business who is looking for some talented dancers. Would they come with him to meet his friend?
Gives you chills doesn’t it? Sounds like something you would see on TV, as you sit there on your couch yelling at the TV, telling the girls not to fall for this trap. Its not a TV show though, not a movie! This is not in some back alley somewhere. This guy didn’t jump out of a car trying to nab these girls.
No, it was done in a very business like, charming manner and 2 of the girls started to get excited. What young girl doesn’t like to be told that she is talented and doesn’t start dreaming about how maybe this is her lucky break! Fortunately one of those girls wasn’t as easily swayed by his charm, and she politely told the guy “No Thanks”, as she led her friends away!
Thinking of the children that don’t get away breaks my heart, the ones that get trapped.
I know that I am not capable of physically rescuing these children, but I am able to bring awareness to the problem. I am able to help volunteer with our local organization against Human Trafficking. Sometimes its not as much about what you can’t do, but more about looking at what you can do!