Kathi Macias wrote Deliver Me From Evil in 2011; a novel about human trafficking. Though her story was fictional, it nonetheless haunted me for months. You’d think in this age of the information superhighway people would be more aware and less inclined to participate in something so horrendous.
In one scene of Macias’ novel, the three girls are in a hotel room. The guys who bought them for the night are portrayed as normal people who go to football games; people who have no idea these girls are being forced against their will to sell their bodies. Some say a large number of traffickers operate during the Superbowl. In 2010, 10,000 prostitutes were brought to Miami for the Superbowl. Superbowl 2011 saw 133 underage arrests for prostitution in Dallas, Texas. I believe the addiction to porn is the introduction course for what prolongs human trafficking in the United States.
In the Christian world, porn is slowly becoming recognized as an addiction. Although only 4% of the million most heavily trafficked websites are sex-related (42,337 sites according to Forbes), the Baptist Press reports that pastors underestimate porn’s influence:
“”Though pastors know generally that pornography is harmful, many may not realize that it is coming into the homes of their members,” Stetzer said. “Large numbers of church attendees are included in the nearly half of all Internet users who visit porn sites. We were surprised that so many were unable or unwilling to estimate considering how pervasive pornography is inside the church. If a third think that less than 10 percent of the men are looking at porn and almost a half aren’t sure, we may very well have a lack of awareness of porn’s presence. Studies show that committed Christians engage pornography less, but the issue is still a big one that the church must face.””
In today’s highly sexualized society, it’s not just the porn sites that have sex. Movies and novels, too, have graphic sex scenes, like romance novels, that are more or less porn. Having read a few of those novels, I can tell you that some of the scenes can go on for pages with graphic descriptions of the act itself. So it’s no wonder the Superbowl is said to be when sex trafficking is at it’s highest. MTV hosted a blog about NFL players who speak out against sex trafficking.
“During the past couple of Super Bowls, dozens of underage girls have been rescued, many of whom were registered as missing children. These 50 or so success stories, however, are just a drop in the bucket of thousands of trafficked females up for sale. According to the organization Love 146, “over 100,000 US children are forcefully engaged in prostitution or pornography each year.” Dallas Cowboy, Jay Ratliff voices his objection to sex trafficking. Real men, he said, don’t buy children.
Streetlight USA in Phoenix reported, “A nationwide raid this last weekend was held simultaneously in 76 cities across the country and led to the rescue of 105 sexually exploited children and the arrest of 150 pimps and perpetrators.” Sadly, children are usually taken in at 13 years old and have a life expectancy of seven years.
While Kathi Macias’ novel is a work of fiction, human trafficking is an old problem with long-term emotional consequences. According to Streetlight Phoenix, someone rescued from sexual trafficking has a long journey of healing ahead of them in both the physical and spiritual sense.
Here’s some of what children face after being rescued (reported by Streetlight Phoenix’s website):
- Physical needs include treatment for sexually transmitted illnesses such as STDs, AIDS, and Hepatitis; dysfunctions of the reproductive organs; lowered immune systems leading to frequent and recurring aliments and infections; possible broken bones from beatings; and stress induced illnesses such as fibromyalgia, cancers and asthma.
- Emotional/mental health needs include treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; depression; personality disorders; rage; aggression; suicidal ideations; hopelessness; self-injury; addictions; lack of trust; Stockholm Syndrome; halted development at age of first abuse; inability to develop healthy relationships; loss of ability to feel or think for oneself; and lack of coping skills
More information isn’t stopping human trafficking. Novels like Kathi Macias’ Deliver Me From Evil are a haunting reminder of what a child’s life may look like, but we will never know. People still look at the 4% of porn sites online. They still watch movies with sex scenes. Adult shops are still seen off the freeway in Phoenix. I wonder, sometimes, how NFL players or anyone can buy a human being and treat them like an object, and still sleep at night in peace?
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