It really has been difficult to put into words the amazing events that took place recently, as Shared Hope International‘s Nancy Winston, and Wake Up Youth‘s EleSondra DeRomano spent the day visiting with local law enforcement and members of our church congregation.
Shared Hope International is on the forefront of the battle against child sex trafficking. Rescuing those who have been sold, trapped, tricked, or lost in a world of pure evil and manipulation!
Nancy shared stories that would make your stomach hurt. To hear the reality of what one human being is capable of doing to another – especially to a young child – is sometimes more than I can physically bear.
Do you know what happens to these children?
Do you know how persistent these predators are in pursuing these children?
Yet these are only a handful of the thousands of stories that are being told by girls and girls who are now women about how they were introduced to a life of prostitution at the age of 11, 12, 13…
Some sold by their parents.
In the United States of America.
Some relentlessly courted by a barrage of compliments and attention (from a man that seems nice enough) whose compliments and attention fills an aching void in the life of a girl already being physically or sexually abused at home – lured away into more subjection, sexual violence, drug addiction, and far too often DEATH.
In the United States – 1 in 4 girls are sexually abused at home before the age of 18. [darkness2light.org]
Some 100,000 to 300,000 American children are forced every year into sexual slavery within the U.S. [SHI’s National Fact Sheet]
You can close your eyes to this. You can tell yourself it is not real and this is just another sensationalistic post. But I can’t close my eyes anymore. And I won’t keep quiet any longer.
There are children being taken – gang raped, drugged, tortured – and turned into prostitutes. And there are people – not just men – who so manipulate and subjugate these girls to the point they will lie to protect their pimp – the only person who appears to love them because they haven’t killed them.
And THEN, there are adults whose only satisfaction comes in taking or destroying the innocence of a young life. Willing to pay for it. Willing to inflict terror, excruciating pain, and shame, and then tell the child she deserves her horrible life.
Does this anger you? Does this upset you?
Can you fathom the depth of misery these children survive? Are forced to endure? Learn to cope with?
Do you think God sees and turns a blind eye?
I don’t. I think He is moving in the hearts of Christian men and women around this country – calling us to stand up and fight for these children. They are OUR children.
They are children who are forced into sexual acts with numerous men every night and then beaten by their pimps because they didn’t bring in enough money for the night.
They are girls who are threatened repeatedly and reminded by the pimp that he knows where her mother lives or her little sister goes to school, and if she doesn’t cooperate, he’ll go after her family.
They are girls who are herded like cattle to major conferences and sporting events around the country and then called “child prostitutes” because they have sex with adults who pay for it.
And people think prostitution should be legalized???
I am doing everything I can to impress upon you the need for action by people like you and me – people who care about children in a healthy way – and am asking you to pray about DOING something in this battle.
Read the National Report results from a study by Shared Hope in 2006 sponsored by a grant from the US Department of Justice. Support Shared Hope International and their frontline efforts to battle this disease of greed and lust around the world and in the U.S.
You can Take Action! For more information about Shared Hope International and how it got started, read Linda Smith’s book From Congress to the Brothel. Linda Smith, former Congresswoman from the state of Washington, just published a new book, Renting Lacy, which chronicles an inside look at sex trafficking…
More about El and Wake Up Youth to come…