January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month, when organizations fighting to end human trafficking seek to amplify their message to new audiences. LifeWay Network is no exception. Raising awareness about modern day slavery is an important part of our mission. Increased awareness is fundamental to solving this horrific crime. And that’s why LifeWay Network, and everyone devoted to ending slavery, works every day of every month to educate the public about this human rights issue.
Let’s be honest, it’s a tough topic. No one wants to think about adults and children being coerced and defrauded into prostitution or forced labor. Those are heinous crimes. But we can’t ignore them. And we can’t stop spreading the word. Because the problem is urgent. People’s lives are at stake.
We have an obligation to talk about it, because human trafficking is a scourge that thrives in secrecy and silence. When we become informed about the circumstances that surround human trafficking, we can identify the suffering in our midst and take action.
Awareness precedes action.
Once we learn the facts, we can no longer assume that human trafficking is happening “somewhere else.” We know it can and does happen in this country, in our towns and neighborhoods. That it’s happening in the suburbs as well as the cities. That it’s not just someone else’s son or daughter who is at risk. That it could be the housekeeping staff at a local motel, the technicians who work at a nearby salon, the kitchen workers in a favorite restaurant or the nanny next door. That it isn’t just a threat to foreign-born residents, because cruelty has no border.
Facts don’t lie. But they can’t fully convey the misery and trauma.
- The crime of human trafficking involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion.
- Human trafficking affects immigrants and citizens of any race, class, gender, religion and culture.
- Globally, there are an estimated 9 million people trapped in forced labor, with 16 million victims of labor trafficking in private industry, 4.8 million victims of sex trafficking, and 4.1 million victims of state-imposed forced labor.
- Men and women of all ages are exploited.
- Almost a third of the victims of human trafficking are children.
- In the United States alone, roughly 200,000 children are at high risk for sex trafficking each year.
- The average age of entry into sex trafficking in the US is 13. In many other countries around the world, it’s even younger.
- Traffickers use violence, threats, deception, debt bondage, and other manipulative tactics to force people to engage in commercial sex or to provide labor or services against their will
Learn the signs. Awareness helps us see with new eyes.
Join the fight. You can be part of the solution. Support the LifeWay Network mission by promoting awareness of human trafficking.
- Learn more. Visit LifeWay Network.org for more information about human trafficking. Our list of books and movies is a good place to start.
- Donate to support our work with women survivors.
- Invite a LifeWay Network speaker to your community, group, and business.
- Volunteer your unique skills to help LifeWay Network.
- Speak out. Share our newsletters and social media posts with your network.