Monday, April 18, 2016

Poring Over Trafficking Presentation

The last few days I have been heads down in presentation writing.  I took on a project to teach a sex trafficking curriculum in our kid's school district.  After I started reviewing the materials that I had been trained in years prior, I decided that I wanted to update my 100 page power point and for the last three + days have been spending hour upon hour poring over topics such as sex trafficking, pimps, pornography, cyber-bullying, sexting, healthy boundaries, runaways, etc.  I have watched hours of teen videos trying to edit and pick out materials suitable for a middle school audience and without any major faith-based message.  This is nothing short of a miracle for me to do, because for me,
everything begins and ends with Jesus.  He is the author and the finisher . . . and the only true answer to freedom.  But, my goal in the public school system is to educate kids on dangers of sexual predators and how they are working tirelessly in our nation and nations of the world.  I fall into bed exhausted at night and thankful that I am able to sleep.  For those who have followed the horrors of sex trafficking, you know the stories are tragic they can keep you up at night.  Some stay in my memory for years.  But thankfully, I have had grace to sleep and I will not be telling the deep underbelly of trafficking to these kids, just opening their eyes and making them aware and hopefully safe.

            Music Video:   "You are Near"  Ryan & Cindy

As I review my materials and video clips, one of the super sad things to me, pertaining to children in the United Sates, is the stories of kids who have been trafficked since they were little by family members and are still going to school.  One acquaintance/friend I know, was trafficked from the age of 6-20.  She finally escaped at the age of 20.  But until then, she would go to school during the day and be trafficked and raped repeatedly at night and on weekends. She would try to tell teachers and people in her life but no one believed or intervened.  Another story that breaks my heart is a girl trafficked from 8-20 who went to her church and they rallied around her for her first
disclosure, but as she began to disclose more and the horrors of her life they pulled away unable to believe this was truly happening, leaving her alone for year after year in the hell she was in.   I find that this subject is just "too much" for people (understandably so) or advocating for a victim makes life too messy (I get it).  I have been knocking down doors in my geographical area to find a non-profit or organization that will provide counseling, intervention and mentoring to at-
risk-youth who share things after my classes.  Unfortunately, everyone refers you to Social Services and currently teens who are put in foster care are being trafficked.  It is reported that over 60% of kids trafficked are from foster care homes.  This is heartbreaking to me.  Our system is so flawed that sometimes I feel like I have my hands tied presenting options for the kids.

My ten year old says there are kids in his class sexually active.  My fourteen year old says most defiantly kids are sexually active in hers. Unfortunately, many, if not most, are active due to sexual abuse and circumstances outside of their control.  Names like "slut" and "ho" are common in my daughter's eighth grade. But in the midst of the super sad stories, one of the things I am so excited about doing
is weaving a message of VALUE into my presentation.   I hope to release a message that un-objectifies women and girls and invites them into significance and hope.  I hope to encourage boys to no longer glamorize a pimpin society but to see it for what it is.  Dark, exploitative, and deeply abusing.  I hope to show that pornography is destructive and what feeds the 27 million human traffic victims being exploited. I find there is so much I want to tell these kids about the greatness and worth inside of them and three classes per grade, I have been given, only skim the surface.

Some reading this blog may be asking, "what do I do if I see someone I think is being trafficked or I think a friend is being trafficked?"    The first thing to do, is to call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at:  
1-888-373-7888       This center should be able to put victims in touch with resources in their area or contact a detective to come to the scene.  Recently I was at a
convenience store and a older teen girl, came in with a young man, who I thought was being trafficked.  I did not have an opportunity to speak with her alone and ask her but I followed them to the I-8 corridor that connects us with San Diego and is known for trafficking.  I called the trafficking center and reported a detailed description and I prayed!  I stormed heaven for this girl.  We can all do something.  Just be available. Report anything that is not "right in your gut".   If you are a follower of Christ - allow yourself to be led by Holy Spirit.   I dream of this modern day slavery being abolished in my lifetime.  I am seeking to make a dent in the 27 million human slaves around the globe - one opportunity at a time.

  Music Video:  "27 Million" Video LZ7 & Matt Redman