‘Most invisible crime’: What human trafficking looks like

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Molestation or sexual abuse is NEVER the fault of the abused child. Many victims of abuse experience shame and guilt. But children cannot be held responsible for crimes perpetrated against them. This is not to say that victims of abuse are absolved of responsibility for their own actions, including those prompted by scars of the abuse. But there is nothing shameful about having been abused. The shame belongs to the abuser alone.

What does the Bible say about sexual abuse against children?

Caring for children is spoken of highly in the Bible. For example, James 1:27 says that caring for children in need pleases God: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” Ephesians 6:4 says, “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” Psalm 127:3 calls children “a heritage from the Lord.” Jesus’ interactions with children (notably in Matthew 18) demonstrate the value God places on them. The Bible speaks often about caring for the weak, poor, and needy—and this would include at-risk children (Proverbs 14:3117:519:1731:8–9). Followers of Christ are consistently called to love others. Molesting a child can in no way be mistaken for love.

The Bible also speaks strongly against sexual sin. Sex is a gift given by God meant for marriage. Sexual perversion of all kinds is soundly condemned. Sexually assaulting a child is never justifiable; it is always wrong.

Harbor Boulevard and Hazard Avenue – both streets in Orange County – are locations involved in a Santa Ana Police Department human trafficking investigation. Graphic by Emma Reith

Kelly Galindo, director of human trafficking documentary “26 Seconds,” views Harbor Boulevard as one of the scariest places for human trafficking. The street runs along the borders of Disneyland, which may seem like an unlikely location for prostitution. It’s not.

“Human trafficking in Orange County is happening right before our eyes,” said former Chapman student Melissa Hoon, a California state-certified counselor for survivors of sexual assault and human trafficking. “It is one of the least known atrocities and it’s happening in our own backyards.” 

Out of the 415 human trafficking victims rescued in Orange County in the past two years, 73 percent of those victims were newly trafficked in either 2017 or 2018, according to a 2019 report by The Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force (OCHTTF). The report also found that 12 percent of the cases were labor trafficking and 87 percent were sex trafficking.

“Human trafficking is the most invisible crime,” Hoon said.

In her experience working as an emergency response counselor for the OCHTTF and as a Youth Anti-Trafficking Specialist at WEAVE  – a Sacramento County-based crisis intervention provider for domestic violence and sexual assault – Hoon said that oftentimes, victims come from broken homes and have already suffered physical or sexual abuse, which aids human traffickers in knowing where and how to prey on vulnerabilities.

It’s this undiscussed topic that led Galindo, a professor at Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, and Prateek Damodaren, a junior film production major, to travel across the world and uncover the reality of human trafficking. 

Galindo visited and filmed survivors in Thailand, Iraq, Cambodia, India, East Africa, Mexico and the United States for her documentary series “26 Seconds,”which refers to the fact that every 26 seconds that passes, a child is trafficked. Each episode of the documentary series will guide the viewers through a survivor’s experience and point of view in a particular country. 

“Through their stories, we introduce the organizations that are there in the fight with them,” Galindo said. “They’re doing incredible work; they are the heroes. They need to have a light shined on them.” 

The teaser for the series is available on Amazon Prime, and will soon be on other platforms like iTunes and Google Play. Galindo plans to pitch the project to Netflix, where the episodic series would have hour-long episodes.

“My project is going to be about how sex trafficking is global. It’s everywhere, but it’s a little different in each country,” Galindo said. “No matter where it is, it’s all about the money.” 

Galindo told The Panther that Orange County, an affluent region of California, with a median household income of $81,000, is a surprising hub for sex trafficking. Approximately 80 percent of the victims and traffickers come to Orange County from other parts of the state or nation because of high demand and profits in the area, according to OCHTTF. This trafficking is due to the nearby tourist attractions, sports venues, beach cities and affluent population. 

“Out of all the countries – and I’ve been to third world countries – I was most afraid of Harbour Boulevard in Orange County,” Galindo said. “The pimps here have guns and they’re standing there and could shoot at you.” 

An advisory released by the Santa Ana Police Department following the March 10 arrest of human trafficker Malik Malveaux revealed that Harbor Boulevard and Hazard Avenue are under surveillance in law enforcement’s ongoing anti-prostitution efforts. 

Despite attempts made to stop trafficking, the process of trafficking victims is easier due to technology that makes it faster and cheaper to traffick women. 

“We’re in this online world in which a man can be home and order them like pizza,” Galindo said. “They come to him or he can have them meet him at a hotel. It has been taken to a whole new level.”

Galindo has worked with several organizations like Roads of Success, which connected her with survivors in India, Thailand and Minneapolis and Rahab Uganda, which gave her access to East African trafficking survivors. 

When Damodaren went with Galindo to East Africa and Mexico, the experience made him lose faith in the world for a while, he said.

“But it soon made me hopeful, because there are so many good people fighting against it,” Damodaren said. “There’s pure evil in the world, but we found the good too, and I found solace in that.”

Child molestation is a sad reality, but it is not beyond God’s ability to overcome. God can redeem and restore. We praise Him “who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20). The “more than we can imagine” includes healing and forgiveness.

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StevieRay Hansen
Editor, HNewsWire.com

MY MISSION IS NOT TO CONVINCE YOU, ONLY TO INFORM…

It is impossible to find anyone in the Bible who was a power for God who did not have enemies and was not hated.

“It is better to be divided by truth than to be united in error. It is better to speak the truth that hurts and then heals, than falsehood that comforts and then kills. Let me tell you something, friend, it is not love and it is not friendship if we fail to declare the whole counsel of God. It is better to be hated for telling the truth, than to be loved for telling a lie. It is impossible to find anyone in the Bible who was a power for God who did not have enemies and was not hated. It’s better to stand alone with the truth, then to be wrong with a multitude. It is better to ultimately succeed with the truth than to temporarily succeed with a lie. There is only one Gospel and Paul said, ‘If any man preaches any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”

Preach the gospel with BOLDNESS AND STRENGTH! It’s better to follow God and be judged by the world, than to follow the world and be judged by God!
Jack H. Kirkland

Jesus come quick, there is nothing left in society that’s sacred….

#faith #fear #GOD #lambs #church #bible #morals #pagans #falsechurch #satan #Biblicaltruth

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