There’s a two square mile area in South Asia that houses over 15,000 sex workers. No one there had a choice.
At the age of 11, Ziba was sold to a brothel owner to become a “do-as-you’re-told sex worker,” according to Ryan Berg with the Aruna Project.
The small girl fought her first customer, but she couldn’t fight everyone off. Night after night she endured being raped and, eventually, those nights turned into years.
Horrific stories like Ziba’s seem to come at us from a distance, from a different world. But similar stories are happening in every city in the United States.
Mindy was 16 when she left her home in Florida. She met up with a friend and the two made their way to a hotel room. There, the girls met a man and two women who promised a life of luxury.
Mindy was told she would get a new identity, the chance to make money and the opportunity to travel the country. But the offer came with a price.
The three human traffickers pleaded with her for two days. Eventually, Mindy relented.
Immediately, the traffickers took her to a different state and posted her for sale, what they called “dates” online. Mindy’s advertisement was posted in three cities. She spent two weeks traveling to meet men for her dates. Then she was put on a bus headed out west and was used for three more weeks.
Mindy was forced to have sex with more than 200 men. Even though the men paid, Mindy never received a single penny.
Human trafficking produces $9.5 billion annually in the United States, according to the United Nations. If every human on the planet bought a $1 item from you, you would still be $2.5 billion behind the revenue generated by human trafficking.
Worldwide, an average prostituted victim may be forced to have sex 20 to 48 times a day, according to PolarisProject.org.
The purpose of the trafficking is not just for prostitution, but includes forced labor and organ removal.
God’s creatures who have been made in His image, breathed to life by God, are being marred, smothered and chopped up by trafficking.
As believers, we’re called to lead in fighting this battle to end human trafficking. Blair Pippin with Cru and an anti-human trafficking group in Florida, says there are three ways we can get involved.
As Christians, God’s heart beats within us, a heart that rages against the reality of the injustice happening. In the four minutes it takes to read this article four American youths will run away from home. In the next two days, two of those runaways will likely be recruited for prostitution.*
Today, Mindy is recovering from her sexual exploitation and has dreams of becoming a beautician. She was rescued by the efforts of a non-profit, local law enforcement and the prayers of God’s people.
Whether it’s praying, spreading awareness by sharing links, researching, giving financially, volunteering or seeking partnerships between nonprofits and churches, we can lead the way in ending this injustice.
The story of Ziba is adapted from a story told by Ryan Berg with the Aruna Project.
*(Calculated by author using two stats: 450,000 American youth run away from home each year, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, and one in three youths are lured into prostitution within 48 hours, according the National Runaway Hotline).
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