325,000 children are at risk of sexual exploitation in the US today.
12 is the average age of entry into the sex trade.
In 2014, I started researching human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children in the US for my mystery Heaven to Betsy. Once I lifted the lid on this issue, I couldn’t get it back on. It has truly haunted me. I took the Hands that Heal Certification Course and experienced equine therapy with Hope Rising, a faith-based provider of specialized care in foster family homes and outpatient experiential therapy located in Washington County, TX, half an hour from our Nowheresville home and just outside Houston, which is one of the largest centers of sexual exploitation of children in the US. Now my husband and I donate weeks at our homes each year to raise money for Hope Rising, and we volunteer and work to raise awareness.
If you’d like to read more about the human trafficking and sexual exploitation storylines in my novels, click HERE.
What is Human Trafficking?
Human Trafficking involves an act of recruiting, transporting, transferring, harboring or receiving a person through a use of force, coercion or other means, for the purpose of exploiting them.
Prostitution versus Slavery
The distinctions existing between sex slavery and prostitution are false. The idea that women are prostituted by choice ignores that it is nearly impossible to tell the difference between a victim of slavery and a victim of prostitution, and at what age the woman was exploited and forced into a life she can’t escape from.
The Cause of Sex Slavery
In societies where women and girls are undervalued or not valued, women are at greater risk for being abused, trafficked, and coerced into sex slavery.
How Are Women Lured Into Trafficking?
Some are lured with offers of legitimate and legal work, marriage, educational opportunities, a modeling career or a better life, while others are kidnapped and sold.
Get Involved With Groups That Help
Hope Rising is committed to the long term care and recovery for minor girls who have been rescued from human sex trafficking and exploitation. Their mission, to put it simply, is to give hope and a future to these girls and to foster wholeness and healing to at-risk families and children.
Hope Rising provides specialized care in foster family homes and outpatient experiential therapy through equine assisted psychotherapy and learning and trauma-informed art therapy.
It takes all of us.