Last Thursday, February 22nd, people around the world rallied together to raise awareness for the horrible epidemic of human trafficking by drawing a red X on their hands and posting a picture to their social media accounts as part of the #enditmovement. Many influential figures and celebrities participated in the movement, including Payton Manning, Willie Robertson, and Carrie Underwood. Being passionate about this topic, I participated in raising awareness on Thursday by drawing my X and posting my picture. As I scrolled through Instagram looking at pictures of hundreds of people sporting the red X, I wondered, “what else can I do?” There are more slaves today than there were during the American slave trade, the majority of whom are young women and children. Showing my support is one thing; taking a stand is another. I want to do more than just raise awareness.
Sometimes, middle-class Americans feel helpless when it comes to making a difference against the horrible things going on in this world. But God gave us the resources that we have for a reason, and there ARE things we can do to help. In fact, we have the most powerful weapon of all: prayer. Here are five things that everyone can do to end human trafficking:
First, WE CAN PRAY. Why is it that prayer is our last resort when we encounter impossible situations? To end human trafficking, we need to come to God first. We need to passionately and consistently ask Him to end human slavery. For direction in how to pray specifically against slavery, check this excellent article from World Vision.
Second, WE CAN GIVE. Another way that we can work to #endit is by donating money to organizations that rescue and restore victims. Some excellent organizations include:
Third, WE CAN EDUCATE OURSELVES. We need to be aware of the signs of human trafficking and how to help someone that is being trafficked. To begin, check out the resources at the websites above. To go deeper, there are several movies and books available that are both informational and emotional. Please use these resources wisely, as they can be graphic and frightening. Unfortunately, however, human trafficking is a terrible reality that we need to be aware of and informed about. Educating ourselves can help us make a difference. If you or someone you know is being trafficked, please do not hesitate to call the human trafficking helpline below.
Fourth, WE CAN VOLUNTEER. If you are passionate about ending sex trafficking, you volunteer at a number of organizations such as Covenant House, Rahab’s Heart, and Covered International. Do some research about local organizations and consider volunteering. For more tangible ways to get involved, check out this article.
Fifth, WE CAN RAISE AWARENESS. Put together a PowerPoint presentation to present to your church, share this post on your blog or social media, participate in the #endit movement, or buy #endit t-shirts and other merchandise. There are so many things that you can do to raise awareness in your circle of influence that can make a big difference in the lives of those being trafficked.
Finally, please remember to keep yourself safe. Be aware of your surroundings and don’t take unnecessary risks. Young women need to be especially aware of the disgusting world in which we live. Lock the doors to your vehicle, park in well-lit areas, and do not, under any circumstances, meet up alone with someone you have never met before. We are not to live in constant fear, but we must be wise and take precautions to protect ourselves from predators.
Human trafficking is a sick and sinful epidemic that is becoming more and more prevalent right in our hometowns. But we are not helpless; together, we can take a stand against trafficking. With God’s help, and these five simple steps, we can #endit.
For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.