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Of Brothels and Cameras

He sits there playing Lego Lord of the Rings, on an office chair that’s three times his size. Small shoulders, sun-kissed blonde hair that’s too long and falls into his eyes, and a serious profile on my tiny five-year old man. I see him across the room from me, and everything in me aches and hurts, and I feel like throwing up.

In the comments of an internet post I’ve been reading on the horrors of human trafficking, a man shares the terrible truth of a tiny four-year old boy who’s a victim of multiple adult men. It enrages me, pulling a fierceness from deep inside me that I don’t often see. Across the living room, my five-year old sits, oblivious to his tearful mom, and I push quiet sobs down, and race to get a grip on my nausea.

Sometimes it’s too much, huh? We read of atrocities in Asia, in Eastern Europe, and in our own state, and it wearies the soul. And yet, to turn away is to become party to it. 

Jamie Wright at Jamie the Very Worst Missionary recently wrote about an undercover trip she and her husband participated in to discover the complex issues of human trafficking around the world, and to see what organizations were doing about it. She writes of seeing a 13-year old girl “pressed up against [her] hulking husband.” Jamie said: “Everything in me wanted to jump up and scream, ‘This is totally a victim of human trafficking. Quick, let’s grab her!'” Jamie and her missions pastor husband had to instead restrain themselves and continue to play the (innocent) role of partying tourists, while undercover investigators gathered evidence to rescue underage and trafficked women.

In her post “On Sending My Husband Into Brothels,” Laura Parker describes what it’s like for the undercover investigators and their families who battle human trafficking around the world. Laura and her husband helped found an organization called The Exodus Road, which is a network of surveillance teams and individuals committed to fighting trafficking. A collection of former police investigators, ex-military, local government and police, legal teams, and brave volunteers collect data, present it, and have rescued 189 victims since July 2012!

I’ve discovered that fighting human trafficking overseas can be as simple as helping equip an undercover team. They need surveillance equipment, funds for particular operations, and training resources. Want to help? Want to rescue girls, boys, men and women stuck in sexual slavery? Simply contact The Exodus Road and donate towards a camera. Who knew that one way of helping could be so easy.

(I am not an affiliate or or being reimbursed by The Exodus Road in any way, just glad for one way to help.)

International Justice Mission, Compassion International, The Emancipation Network, and many more organizations fight human trafficking either directly or indirectly.  

What are some organizations you’ve heard about that fight international human trafficking?

Photo credits to Microsoft clip art. 

(Thankful too for men and women who put their lives in danger to rescue the survivors and to prosecute the perpetrators, I link with Ann to count gifts, and Emily at Imperfect Prose.)

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18 Comments

  1. CynthiaJSwenson on September 10, 2013 at 11:56 pm

    I admire your courage to deal with such a horrible topic. This is where I remember that God is a God of justice & punishment(hell!) & eventually all will be made right. It's okay to think of hell as a good thing, God created it. Thankful for the brave rescuers. Love & prayers, in Jesus, Cynthia

  2. momintraining on September 11, 2013 at 3:47 am

    Your sister-in-law, Cindy, directed me to your blog. We work with an organization in Northern California – Courage Worldwide. They have a home for girls rescued out of sex trafficking in the States, one in Tanzania, and one getting ready to open in Hawaii. There is also a local organization called Bridget's Dream, and I am familiar with a larger organization called Not For Sale. It is going to take a HUGE army to combat this evil business and lots of prayer to cover those on the front lines.

  3. Houseofmills on September 11, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    Ugg….this topic just makes me sick as well. Thanks for throwing out information about this and reminding us how we can help.

  4. Jayne on September 11, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    So often we see large problems and think we can do nothing to help. Thank you for reminding me that even "a cup of cold water" can be a huge help.

  5. Floyd on September 11, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    With you one hundred percent! Going over there now…

  6. Jennifer Dougan on September 12, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    Cynthia,

    Nice to meet you. Thanks for stopping by here. Oh, that anger and fury at the perpetrators, I understand. I'm glad he's the judge of them, not me. We just get to cheer on the justice system and undercover surveillance teams, praying for prosecutions.

    Thank you,
    Jennifer Dougan
    jenniferdougan.com

  7. Jennifer Dougan on September 12, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    Momintraining,

    Hi, nice to meet you! I'm so glad Cindy passed my name on to you. Welcome. πŸ™‚

    I'm thankful to learn about your organization "Courage Worldwide. It sounds like Breaking Free, a MN-based program that has beds and recovery programs for former sex workers. Oh, Tanzania too. Good! Africa is dear to my heart since I used to live there. Not for Sale, I've heard of, and have been thankful for too. Yes, you're right. It's going to take collaborative armies to battle this. I'm thankful for them all.

    Nice to meet you,
    Jennifer Dougan
    jenniferdougan.com

  8. Jennifer Dougan on September 12, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    Liz at Houseofmills,

    Oh, I agree. Thanks for jumping in here.

    Jennifer
    jenniferdougan.com

  9. Jennifer Dougan on September 12, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    Jayne,

    It's so true. I was glad for this tangible way to help with potentially huge results! Thank you.

    Jennifer Dougan
    jenniferdougan.com

  10. Jennifer Dougan on September 12, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    Floyd,

    Thank you!

    Jennifer Dougan
    jenniferdougan.com

  11. Cheryl Barker on September 13, 2013 at 12:38 am

    Jennifer, I'm glad to hear that Compassion International is also helping to fight human trafficking and also thankful to hear about folks who are actually going in and rescuing victims. May God bless and multiply their efforts.

  12. Jennifer Dougan on September 13, 2013 at 12:45 am

    Hi Cheryl,

    Nice to talk with you. πŸ™‚ From what I understand, Compassion's efforts to fight human trafficking are probably more proactive by rescuing at risk kids and families by getting them sponsored so families don't feel pressured to sell their children. How desperate those families must feel huh?

    Jennifer Dougan
    jenniferdougan.com

  13. Wise Hearted on September 13, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    Jennifer our church is doing something on human trafficking on the 27th of this month. Not sure what organization it is for because I was not there to get all the information. Hoping we are back from our trip so I can do to it. Good for you for writing this post, good way to get the word out.

  14. Mommy Emily on September 16, 2013 at 4:29 am

    thank you jennifer… oh, this makes my heart sick. but you're right, we can't turn away. xo

  15. Misty on September 16, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    I'm so glad to know this… Glad to know we can help in this way. Thank you!

  16. Jennifer Dougan on September 17, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    Betty,

    I'm so curious to hear what organization your church is talking about that fights human trafficking on the 27th. Let me know, will you?

    Have a great trip. Thanks for stopping in.

    Jennifer
    jenniferdougan.com

  17. Jennifer Dougan on September 17, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    Emily,

    Thanks for dropping in, friend. Yes, heart-sick is true, and yet we can't do nothing.

    Feeling that too,
    Jennifer
    jenniferdougan.com

  18. Jennifer Dougan on September 17, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    Misty,

    Nice to "meet" and talk with you. Thanks for stopping by.

    Yes, this tangible way to help is encouraging, isn't it? Thank you.

    Jennifer Dougan
    jenniferdougan.com

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