*Friends, today’s blog post is about sex trafficking. Rated PG, versus our usual G. Consider this your heads-up.*
My friend Susan Norris has written an incredible book called Rescuing Hope. This is not a topic I write or read or speak about ever, so I probably wouldn’t have picked up this book on my own. But I am so glad I read it. It is impactful and powerful and honestly? Unbelievable.
Not unbelievable because it isn’t true. Unbelievable in the “are you say that REALLY happens, Susan?” kind of way.
I asked Susan to write for y’all about the reality of sex trafficking here in America. Because, sadly, it really happens.
. . . . . .
Human Sex Trafficking- the first time I heard the phrase my mind immediately went to Cambodia or Vietnam. That kind of thing doesn’t happen here, right? Wrong! As I sat listening to Mary Frances Bowley of Wellspring Living, she rattled off unbelievable statistics like:
- 300,000- the number of girls at risk of being trafficked each year
- 7,200- the number of men every month who purchase sex with a minor in Atlanta
- 200-500- the number of under aged girls trafficked each month in Atlanta
- 12-14- the average age of a young girl bought and sold
- 9- girls as young as 9 years old have been known to be trafficked in Atlanta
- 7- the number of years a girl lives before she dies or is killed in the trade
- 1- the number of people it takes to make a difference in this fight
She wasn’t speaking about a third world country; she was speaking about the United States, specifically Atlanta, Georgia. Unfortunately, Atlanta isn’t any more unique than Cambodia or Vietnam. This evil practice is not a respecter of geography or persons. It’s happening everywhere and it crosses every demographic.
This is an estimated $32 billion dollar a year industry world-wide. It is one of the most lucrative forms of criminal activity today, second only to illegal drug sales.
The mama bear in me rose up. I wanted to do something, had to do something. I just didn’t know what. I asked,
“Where’s the weak link in the fight?”
The answer was simple, awareness. Most people are not aware this is taking place in their own backyards. At Passion 2012, Louie Giglio said, “We don’t need any more statistics, we need stories. Stories motivate people to action.”
I set out to find the story. I sought to learn all I could on the issues. I interviewed organizations in the fight, detectives, survivors, families of girls being trafficked and even a former pimp. I gathered stories, their stories, and I wove them into one, Rescuing Hope.
Hope is a typical American teenager. She could be your neighbor, your daughter, your friend, you. Through following her journey, readers will gain insight into the issue and see how they can join the fight. Rescuing Hope is an awareness tool, a catalyst of conversation among peers, friends, and work associates. While it Rescuing Hope is fiction, what takes place in it is very real. It’s gritty. It’s necessary.
There are countless Hopes in our nation in need of rescuing. Will you join the fight? Will you raise your voice for hope?
. . . . .
Statistics that I can hardly get my mind around. But Susan has done a beautiful job of making those stats into a story that really could be about any of us. Have mercy, God.
To learn more about Susan Norris, go to www.susannorris.org. Let me also suggest you check out End It Movement- my girls who went to Passion 2013 have come home so motivated to make a difference and end slavery in our generation.
I hope you’ll read Rescuing Hope and I hope it changes you. I know it changed me.