No other state reports as many human trafficking victims as California. There were more than 1,300 cases reported in 2016, and many of these victims are women and young girls.
Incredibly, many of these trafficked children (around 70%) come from foster care, where they are supposed to be protected and nurtured. These children are looking for love and acceptance, and when they don’t find it, they become prime targets for pimps and pedophiles. Some of the rescued kids are runaways or are abducted and then reported missing.
Women are tricked into prostitution through an online promise of romantic love or a guaranteed modeling job. Impressionable, naïve young women respond to these false offers, and before they know it, they are being drugged, exploited, and sold against their wishes. Trafficking victims are physically violated, emotionally traumatized, mentally crushed, and spiritually defeated. Their exploiters control and overpower them every moment of every day. They see no way out. Their self-image is shattered. They’re hopeless and broken.
But God sees. And God knows. And His heart breaks for them. He’s a rescuer and a hope-giver. He also loves justice. Psalm 34:18 reminds us that
“the Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.”
It’s painful and frightening to consider what these women and young girls endure. We may want to turn our eyes away and think about more enjoyable things, but that’s not what God would have His people do. In Psalm 12:5, “The Lord replies, ‘I have seen violence done to the helpless, and I have heard the groans of the poor. Now I will rise up to rescue them, as they have longed for me to do.’”
So how does God rescue trafficked victims? He calls us to be a part of the rescue plan. God could have turned His back on sinful mankind, but He formulated a rescue plan instead, and He asked His only Son Jesus to lead the charge to rescue us. Rescuing others can be messy and difficult and sometimes downright painful.
But consider this:
What if that young woman were your sister?
What if that young girl were your daughter?
You wouldn’t stop until she was rescued, free and safe. Proverbs 31:8-9 says, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.”
We cannot ignore the hurting and desperate people around us. God’s people must rise up and rescue as many girls as possible from this evil, oppressive slavery. As we pursue justice, we can be sure that God is right there with us fighting for what is right and just. Restoration and deliverance is possible, and we can do many things to make a difference and save these victims from a hopeless, broken life.
- Elect representatives who will act
- Volunteer at a rescue mission
- Bring awareness to others in your sphere of influence who may be unaware
- Collect hygiene and clothing items to donate to rescued victims
- Report suspicious individuals or activities
- Find out how to help your local human-trafficking group
Serving California is dedicated to helping organizations that are working to end human trafficking. Visit here for more information on who we support.