Saturday, December 14, 2013

Guest Post - Kathy Bruins

Eradicate the Evil
by Kathy Bruins

Every time I hear of a teen missing, I pray they do not become a victim of a growing evil called human trafficking. While this term refers to both sex and labor trafficking, the commercial sex industry is growing so fast and could surpass the drug dealing industry. You see, while a drug can be used only once, a human being can be used over and over making a lot of money for pimps.

Today, I received notice that Attorney General Bill Shuette presented a 63-page report on human trafficking in Michigan, and stating what legislative laws need to be changed to protect the victims, especially children, from being treated as criminals rather than the victims they are. The “johns” are not getting penalized much from their actions, while they are driving up the demand for commercial sex. This is wrong. It's imperative to change these laws so that children will not be sold, kidnapped, or lured into a horror far beyond their imaginations.

This journey in discovering the issue of human trafficking began a couple of years ago when I was requested to write an article on it and its connection to Southwest Michigan. I never have heard anything about it before, so was unsure of what I would find. My eyes were open to a world that is secretive and deceptive. In my research and article writing of the topic, I have received numerous emails from survivors thanking me for shining the light on this darkness. I met with a few survivors and was heartbroken hearing their stories. These people are not from Third World countries (although this is a huge problem around the world as well), but they could be living across the street.

One organization that is taking on the fight for human rights for the victims is Women At Risk, International (W.A.R., Inc.) which is lead by Becky McDonald. I have learned so much from her and am always touched by how she talks about these women in her life that she loves like daughters. She travels the world to help women and children out who are in abusive situations. She understands the different cultures having been raised in a foreign country. She remembers a grade school friend who was forced to drink acid because she wouldn't marry the man her father chose for her. These atrocities happen every day. Instead of getting overwhelmed and thinking there's nothing you can do, I have good news, there is something everybody can do to fight human trafficking.

I have been involved in the awareness aspect for the last couple of years, but recently have been moved to do more. I am meeting with a survivor to write her story that will show God's goodness even in the darkest times. I will be taking a First Responder Training to learn how to spot what may be human trafficking and what to do about it.

Some simpler things that can be done are as follows:
  • Learn more about it. Awareness is key.
  • Pray for the victims.
  • Support victims by buying their jewelry, scarves, etc. from boutiques and parties that sell their merchandise.
  • Support legislation that will demolish human trafficking by writing your state and government officials. There are letters already formatted for your use on the website of Polaris Project.

One thing I ask of you: Do not shut your eyes and ears to this evil. I believe God is calling His people to become involved and do something … anything. God hears the cries of His children, and I believe He has said, “Enough!”

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