Survivor Maylissa Luby says it's time for the church to step up.
The truth is that evil has no boundary, and very few lines drawn in the sand to stop human traffickers. This was true before the pandemic, but things have gotten worse.
The 2016 Trafficking In Persons Report acknowledged that governmental anti-trafficking activities were on pause in Ebola-affected countries—leaving “thousands of people at risk.” A 2019 study showed a direct correlation between infectious disease outbreak and the rise of human trafficking.
Then, the quarantine mandate in 2020 became a prison for all that lived with their abusers. In March of 2020, a three week shut down of all services occurred to fight the pandemic, leaving children and domestic abuse victims to fend for themselves. Funds to help survivors were redirected to pay for medical supplies needed to fight the outbreak, causing shelters to shut down emergency services to aid human trafficking victims. Researchers have even found that “In the United States, individuals who managed to leave their human traffickers are now considering—or are being forced to—return to their exploiters as they have lost their jobs, shelter, and medical insurance.” As rent became a financial hardship for many due to unemployment, a study of more than 100 fair housing groups found a spike in landlords asking for sex in exchange for housing.
While many are quarantined in comfortable houses with enough food to eat, millions of women and children are closed off with their abusers without anyone noticing their bruises. Predators are targeting children online at increasing rates, knowing children are home on devices looking for connection. Traffickers are upping their prices to do business, increasing their profit margin. Organized crime quickly adapts to any adversary that stands in the way of making a profit, lacking any rule of law. Pedophilia has longed to be embraced and the health crisis has made it evident that the most vulnerable members of our society have become the target of oppression.
The already limited funds to fight the world’s fastest criminal empire depleted, leaving millions of women and children to suffer in the shadows. Commercial sexual exploitation is estimated to make a 99 billion profit in a year. Evil prevails in chaos and confusion. Needless to say, Covid brought the world to its knees unprepared, and the already vulnerable became prey to those whose hearts are filled with evil intent.
The church must carry the mantle of a sexual revolution.
The church must carry the mantle of a sexual revolution. The world will not be able to resolve this issue without the church being at the forefront of the battle waged against our children. It is time to break the silence of abuse for this generation. We need the body of Christ to get out of their comfort zone and speak a message of hope and redemption for those who have been victimized by the spirit of perversion.
Human trafficking is not a third world problem. It happens in every state and neighborhood in this country. The best way to get involved in this revolution is to partner with a local non profit-organization. Donating finances is important, but even more so is mobilizing initiatives to prevent, educate, and empower the church to take action. This will be half the battle to eradicating human trafficking. This revolution begins with the church rising together and standing in the gap for every victim that has yet to encounter Christ and receive freedom. I invite you to join May’s Heart and Enjewel’s efforts to comfort and bring healing to survivors as well as Polaris and IJM, that assist to end human trafficking on a global scale.
Survivors need to know that there’s hope and if the church stays silent, the light of Jesus cannot shine through to the most vulnerable members of our society. Sexual abuse is a deep wound that can only be completely healed by knowing the love of the father.
Maylissa Luby, herself a survivor of sexual exploitation, has dedicated her life to supporting survivors. She worked as an intervention counselor helping victims, and is the founder of May’s Heart, a nonprofit organization that mentors survivors to find their voice and freedom through Christ to heal from sexual abuse. She is the creator of The Creative Healing Collection, and hosts the May You Break The Silence Podcast.
The Humanitarian Disaster Institute (HDI) equips volunteers and professionals ministering to victims. Join us on Thursday, March 11, 2021 for a free online event on assessing and addressing five core emotional, spiritual, and practical needs that HDI has identified as critical in the wake of trauma.