Friday, June 24, 2011

Human Trafficking in God’s World

Product photo 

Justin Holcomb

Pastor, Author
Genesis 3 records the terrible day when humanity fell into sin and shalom was violated. This was a moment of cosmic treason, when Adam and Eve violated their relationship with God by rebelling against His command and fell into the severe ignobility we all experience. The entrance of sin wrecked the order and goodness of God's world; it was the disintegration of peace. Sin inverted love for God, which in turn became idolatry, and inverted love for neighbor, which became exploitation of others.
One clear way this exploitation of others takes place is human trafficking. Trafficking is modern-day slavery and is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world. It is the recruitment, transportation, harboring, or taking of people by means of threat, force, coercion, abduction, fraud, or deception for the purpose of exploiting them. The United Nations estimates that 2.5 million people are trafficked annually. It deprives people of their human rights and freedoms, it is a global health risk, and it fuels organized crime.

Victims of trafficking are forced or coerced into labor or sexual exploitation. Labor trafficking ranges from domestic servitude and small-scale labor operations to large-scale operations such as farms, sweatshops, and major multinational corporations. Sex trafficking is one of the most profitable forms of trafficking and involves any form of sexual exploitation, such as prostitution, pornography, bride trafficking, and the commercial sexual abuse of children.
The United States is a destination country for international trafficking: foreign women and children are transported into the United States for purposes of sexual and labor exploitation. The State Department estimates that approximately eighteen thousand foreign nationals are trafficked annually into the United States. Victims are brought to the United States from Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe, and Africa. Most women and children brought to the United States find themselves forced to work in massage parlors, commercial or residential brothels, escort services, and strip clubs.
Sex trafficking also happens to United States citizens residing within United States borders. An estimated three hundred thousand American children are at risk for trafficking into the sex industry annually. Traffickers coerce women and children to enter the commercial sex industry through a variety of recruitment techniques in strip clubs, street-based prostitution, and escort services.

Domestic sex traffickers particularly target vulnerable young girls, such as runaway, homeless, and fostercare children. In the United States, the average age of entry into prostitution is thirteen. One reason many girls working in prostitution enter the trade in their early teens has to do with the age at which many were victims of incest. The average age of incest is twelve. Incest and other forms of abuse often drive children to run away from home, making them vulnerable to the slick tactics of sex traffickers.

The pimp seduces a recruit with the lure of love, protection, wealth, designer clothes, fancy cars, and exclusive nightclubs. Pimps move from city to city looking for children and young women who are easy prey: alone, desperate, and alienated. Once a pimp moves a victim from her hometown into a strange city, the pimp can easily force her to work as a prostitute. Thousands of children and women are victimized in this way every year.

Human trafficking is a sin against the victim and a sin against God. Evil is anti-creation, anti-life, and the force that seeks to oppose, deface, and destroy God, His good world, and His image bearers. Simply put, when someone defaces a human being — God's image bearer — it is ultimately an attack against God Himself.
Sexual violence is one of the most frequent and disturbing symbols of sin in the Bible. It is a complete distortion of relationship, a mockery and devastation of God's intent in making us for relationships with Himself and others. By referring to sexual violence, God, through the biblical authors, communicates that sin has progressed so far that sex, an expression of union, peace, and love, is now used as a tool for violence.

Far from being a peripheral issue in the Bible, exploitation is mentioned frequently throughout Scripture, is depicted as sin against God and neighbor, and symbolizes how badly sin has corrupted God's good creation. The victim's experience of trafficking is not ignored by God or minimized by the Bible, and it is not outside of the scope of healing and hope found in redemption. God's response to evil and violence is redemption, renewal, and re-creation because of the gospel of Christ. And that should be the church's response.

Evil and violence are not the final word. They are not capable of creating or ultimately defining reality. That is only God's prerogative. However, evil and violence can pervert, distort, and destroy. They are parasitic on the original good of God's creation. In this way, evil serves as the backdrop on the stage where God's redemption shines with greater brilliance and pronounced drama. What evil uses to destroy, God uses to expose, excise, and then heal.

Dr. Justin Holcomb is a pastor at Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington, and director of The Resurgence. He is author, along with his wife, Lindsey, of Rid of My Disgrace: Hope and Healing for Victims of Sexual Assault.

Original article

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Video Game's 'Capture the Babe' Mode Has Players Slapping Women -

A screenshot from the trailer for Duke Nukem Forever, which resurrects the familiar sexist sterotypes seen in the original versions of the game.

This story came out this morning on A new game, Duke Nukem Forever, developed for XBox by Gearbox Studios who bought the rights to the game last year, requires players to abduct women and give them a slap if the woman resists or freaks out. It implies, very strongly, that "Duke" receives oral sex from twins in school uniforms!

As an advocate for women's and children's right, I cannot, I repeat CAN NOT, sit back and let this go! Please read the article below (click on the link). Anti-Slavery Project will be taking action against everyone involved in allowing this if it is released in June as the article suggests.

No where on God's green earth is something like this "OK!"

Friday, January 14, 2011

Serving Child Victims of Sex Trafficking

January 19, 2011—Join an Online Discussion

On January 19, 2011, at 2 p.m. (eastern time), the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) will present a Web Forum discussion with Mollie Ring on best practices for serving child victims of sex trafficking. Ms. Ring is the Director of Anti-Trafficking Programs at the Standing Against Global Exploitation (SAGE) Project, a nonprofit organization working to end the commercial sexual exploitation of children and adults. She coordinates direct services for domestic minor and international victims of human trafficking and leads outreach, training, and public education efforts. She also oversees technical assistance initiatives for local, regional, and national partners. Prior to joining SAGE in 2008, Ms. Ring served as a consultant to the United Nations Children’s Fund’s Evaluation Office and the United Nations Development Programme.

Visit the OVC Web Forum now to submit questions for Ms. Ring and return on January 19 at 2 p.m. (eastern time) for the live discussion. Learn how to participate beforehand so you are ready for the discussion.