Shining A Light On Slavery

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This month was National Shine A Light On Slavery Day on February 7th which was started by the End It Movement. You may remember seeing plenty of posts on social media of people with red X’s drawn on their hand. Some posts may have included general information about the state of human trafficking in the world or our country. There are plenty of resources out there on human trafficking. Polaris Project and Freedom Church Alliance are wonderful resources if you would like more information.

However, many of you may not know how many youth in the juvenile justice system or in juvenile detention facilities are or have been involved in human trafficking in some way. Whether they have been a victim or pimp of sex trafficking or labor trafficking, many of these teens have been involved in some part of the cycle of human trafficking. Unfortunately, we do not have specific statistics of how many teens in the facilities are involved in what ways quite yet. We mostly know of their involvement from the stories they have told us.

Most of the human trafficking victims who read our magazine are girls who have been sex trafficked. One thing we do to equip these girls and empower them to not fall back into sex trafficking when they go home is through our column, Hey Ladies. This is where the President of Free The Captives, Julie Waters, writes articles to help girls see their worth, put their identity in Christ, see the warning signs of when someone is trying to coerce you or manipulate you, and other skills to be less at risk of being a victim of sex trafficking. Many of the teens we work with regularly meet with Julie since Free The Captives is focused on helping teen victims of sex trafficking.

What always weighs heavy on our hearts is when we are with these teens for FRUIT. Magazine Club. Whenever we are either taking prayer requests or are covering the Hey Ladies column, girls that we see month to month tell us their story of being trafficked or have the same prayer request each month that when they are out of the facility they won’t fall back into the traps of a pimp so they can be free to pursue their goals and dreams. We hope these glimpses into the reality that many teens who read FRUIT. Magazine face inspires you to join us and many others around the world in the fight against human trafficking. We also hope this inspires you to shine a light on slavery this month and every month.

Tera Swigart