Yesterday, we remembered the attacks of September 11th, 2001. These attacks forever changed our country and led us into the new “war on terror.”
One way in which we can honor those who lost, as well as those who gave their lives, is to continue fighting for our freedom and justice. It is in this spirit that I wish to discuss another war that has come to light in recent years.
The War against Sex Crimes
Today, 48- year- old Orlando resident Vince Lasane was convicted of attempting to coerce an undercover agent to have sex with him. The agent posed as a 14-year-old girl. Last year, Lasane and the agent had talked online for over a month. Lasane further said that he intended to have sex with the agent. He was arrested last October after planning to meet with the girl.
Statistics of the Growing Problem
Thankfully, this case had a happy ending. Many law enforcement agencies are beginning to recognize this growing problem and are taking steps to address it. But there is still a lot of work to be done. There are round 4.8 million victims of sex trafficking around the world, and over 20 million victims of human trafficking. These victims consist mostly of girls and women, but boys and men are also targeted. Furthermore, almost 30% of victims are children.
This horrendous business is also very present in the US as well. It is estimated that there are almost 200,000 cases of sexual exploitation of children in the country each year, with many more children at risk. Tim Ballard, CEO of Operation Underground Railroad, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending sex trafficking, has stated that the US is one of the top destinations for sex traffickers. This is because, unfortunately, the market for these businesses is very much alive in the US.
The good news is that many people are recognizing this horrible evil and want to help. There are many things that everyday Americans can do. One important thing is raising awareness of this evil. Social media and electronic messaging are great tools to spread awareness to families and friends. Another important thing is to learn to recognize signs of human trafficking. ZOE International has a great video below about recognizing some of the signs. Learning these signs can not only educate people but also help to save lives.
As we go forward addressing this huge problem, we will further the cause of freedom and justice. In time, we will discover that we not only saved these precious victims but also discover we saved ourselves in the process.
For more info about how to fight against sex trafficking visit: https://ourrescue.org/