For the last five years, we at TTG have been a part of bringing awareness to our local communities about human trafficking. We know labor and sex trafficking are happening locally to adults and children alike – we have heard some of their stories. We know we have many who are vulnerable to it, and trafficking continues to be the second fastest-growing criminal activity. What we’ve observed is that we don’t like to talk about this kind of thing because it’s unsettling. And in some ways we wonder if we would rather pretend that if we don’t talk about it, it won’t be an issue for us.
We would love to start a conversation. Not just about the dangers of human trafficking and what to be aware of, but about a far bigger picture that can fuel things like trafficking. We would like to talk about our perspectives, our mindsets, and the struggles we deal with as individuals and as a society that lend to socially acceptable but harmful cultural norms. We have girls as young as 11 who are viewing pornography; boys as young as 8. It’s these norms and the lack of addressing them that fuel more pain, more secrecy, more shame, and more exploitation. We would love to talk about how we can walk together, work together and heal together to be a part of the solution in helping ourselves and others become freer, healthier and more of who God created us to be. How beneficial to have more discussion in our churches, our schools, our friend groups, and our homes so we can move forward in freedom, help others in the struggle and so our sons and daughters know once and for all they aren’t alone in the battles of life.
Looking ahead to 2020, we want to partner with churches, youth groups, athletic teams and other organizations to provide resources and safe environments where critical conversations about tough topics can begin to take place. Topics like:
- Pornography — If we struggle with it, we’re not alone and how we can get support; if we’ve been hurt by it how we can heal and recover
- Healthy relationship development — Building healthy relationships and how they look/differ as compared to unsafe relationships
- Prevention — Learning more about sex and labor trafficking
- Identifying Predators and the grooming process so we can stay safe and look out for family and friends
- Respecting self and others
- Suicide prevention
What are some real life issues that you have seen and would think would be helpful to talk about? Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any thoughts, feedback or questions on how you and your organization can be a part of the solution.