“I will not punish your daughters when they turn to prostitution, nor your daughters-in-law when they commit adultery, because the men themselves consort with harlots and sacrifice with shrine prostitutes–a people without understanding will come to ruin!”
Quick pop quiz. How many people are living in slavery right now? 27 million. How many of those are being raped daily in sexual servitude? Perhaps 75%. How many children are trafficked for sexual exploitation each year? Over one million. How many young women and girls are trafficked into porn and prostitution in the U.S.? 200,000 annually. What drives this? According to the State Department, the voracious demand for commercial sex.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that people are waking up to this, courageous individuals are driving change, and progress is being made. Just this month, good news on the demand reduction front has come out of places like Massachusetts, France, and Israel; more and more cities, states, and countries are raising awareness and raising penalties for the buying of sex (i.e., the exploiting of women and children). And events like this and this are becoming more frequent.
Also on the “good news” front is the fact that more activists are recognizing the role of pornography in creating demand for prostitution and trafficking. Porn creates an appetite for commercial sex; moreover, under U.S. federal law, porn production constitutes a form of sex trafficking. Pervasive pornography (from the Greek pornographos meaning “writings about prostitution”) equals more demand, which equals more exploited women and children. Read our resource Exploited for more on this.
So what can you do? Pray for justice. Understand the scope of the injustice of trafficking. Resolve to take action, starting with living purely and not consuming commercial sex, digital or otherwise. And engage in acts of justice right where you are (click here for some suggestions).
This video by the Jerusalem Institute of Justice’s Project NOA (Not Objects Anymore) describes prostitution and trafficking in Israel, but the descriptions of exploitation and the questions posed are just as relevant in the Midwest as they are in the Middle East. The basic inquiry: what will YOU do to pursue justice and create a world where women and girls are not objects anymore?[vimeo http://vimeo.com/36546182 w=600&h=325]