Community Against Sex Trafficking
Human trafficking is an epidemic in our world and especially in the city of Tampa. Human trafficking is the action or practice of transporting people from one country or area to another, typically for the purposes of forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation.
Human trafficking is a grievous sin in the eyes of God because every person was made in the image of God and is worthy of dignity and respect. Sex trafficking is a subset of human trafficking and includes prostitution, stripping, mail order marriage and performing in pornography or other sexual entertainment against one’s will, as well as any such activity involving minors. Sex trafficking is slavery and a terrible evil.
Tampa is a hot spot for human trafficking in general and sex trafficking in particular. Our city has more strip clubs than Dunkin’ Donuts and it’s easier to find a massage parlor than a coffee shop. Our city is one of the top buyers in the country of humans as property as we are third on the list next to NYC and LA.
It is the responsibility of Christians and the church to do what we can to fight against such a horrific evil. Human trafficking is especially difficult to combat for several reasons, which we won’t go into here.
This past summer a group from Calvary813 set out to learn more about the problem and seek to find a way that we could help. For several weeks, we had leaders of different ministries come in to share with us and teach us about human trafficking and explain to us what they are doing to serve the community in this way. One of the things that we discovered is that there are many ministries in our city serving and fighting this issue, but most are often unaware of the other. So one of the efforts is to bridge the gaps between ministries and help ministries work together more effectively.
Also, we met and have now partnered with a law firm in the area that is working with victims to help them get justice. Often, victims find themselves trapped in the legal system, being treated and prosecuted as a criminal. For example, someone arrested on charges of prostitution may be a victim of human trafficking. This law firm that we support is working pro bono to assist victims by defending them in court, and getting them placed in safe houses once released, and then getting their records cleared.
This is primarily where we feel led to serve our city at this point. We want to do what we can to serve and support the Justice Restoration Center. We are supporting them financially with a monthly contribution. We also want to support them in the future by doing fund raisers to help support and increase their ability to serve more victims.
If you have any questions or concerns, or feel led to get involved and serve, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and connect with us.