Written by Lexi Baysinger. Media by Kelsey Neier.
Every two minutes a child is stolen and forced into slavery. The United States is a destination for an average of 48 illegally trafficked slaves daily. An organization called the Set Free Movement is aiming to break this chain and bring more awareness to the fact that there are currently more slaves worldwide than there have ever been in history.
I know. The statistics of it all make it seem extremely daunting, and it is. To think that 27 million human beings are currently in slavery is astounding and sickening. But think of it like this. A young woman has just begun a relationship with a young man she met in a coffee shop. For the first few weeks, the relationship goes great, but shortly after that the girl notices her boyfriend getting pushy and asking her to do things that she isn’t comfortable with. But since she wants to stay with him, she does what she is asked. After this goes on for a short time, she is alone with her boyfriend and they go on a drive. They arrive at a house that she doesn’t recognize and when they enter, her boyfriend leads her to a room that only has one piece of furniture, a bed. He locks her in the room. A long time passes, she grows more and more uncomfortable at every passing second, and eventually someone opens the door. It’s a man that she doesn’t know. He instructs her to undress and when she doesn’t comply immediately, he hits her. After she undresses, she’s instructed to lay on the bed, the only piece of furniture in the room that has become her prison. He rapes her. She has been trafficked into sex slavery.
The rest of her life will be filled with fear. After enduring this life for so long, her soul will harden, and eventually shatter. 27 million people are experiencing that same fear and brokenness of the soul. 27 million people who, for years, will never know love or a kind touch. Now human trafficking isn’t limited to just sex trafficking. There are five total kinds of human trafficking; forced labor, bonded labor, indentured servitude, sex trafficking, and guerilla warfare.
Movements like Set Free are working to battle human trafficking. On campus, you may have seen the t-shirt collection boxes. Those t-shirts will be used to make freedom scarves. Each scarf is comprised of seven strands of fabric to signify seven ways to pray for the movement. As a follow up to the t-shirt collection, there will be an event on campus on May 5th at 8 PM in the Upper Union. This event will comprise of lessons on how to make freedom scarves, selling fair trade chocolate (the first 15 people to arrive at the event will get a free bar of chocolate), and speakers who will talk about the Christian call to bring hope to those in bondage. The speakers will include Kent Dunnington, Kyle Littlefield, and Lorna Gaffney.
This issue may seem like too big a problem for us to fix. But everything we do helps. Proverbs 25:15 says, “When justice is done, it is joy to the righteous, but dismay to evildoers.” Human trafficking is a horrendous injustice. It robs humanity from people. It makes them an object to be sold instead of a person who deserves all the love in the world.
So, attend the event on May 5th. Learn more about this. It’s going to be a major issue for our generation. It’s time that we brought it out of the shadows.
To get involved on campus, contact Anna Brannon at firstname.lastname@example.org.