The events in Charlottesville, Virginia involving white supremacists, anti-white supremacists and violence was nothing short of horrific. I’ve been trying to think of words to describe my disgust at the entire situation and my feelings of sadness for those who lost their lives along with the friends and family of the dead. Words just seem to fall short in conveying feelings of disgust and outrage.
Then I ventured into social media after being out of pocket Saturday.
The volume of anger, the volume of condemnation, the volume of screams for justice, the volume of screams for the eradication of white supremacists came like a tsunami. The majority of it completely justified in their statements. (Some were saying all conservatives were just like the white supremacists, which is foolishness; hate is not a conservative value.) The towering wall of outrage appeared everywhere on every social media network.
As I was going through some of the postings, I had a post pop up from a friend who runs an anti-human trafficking ministry talking about how they were struggling to get a few thousand dollars raised to help save a woman who was fleeing her pimp.
Struggling for a few thousand dollars.
That’s when a thought hit me that I cannot shake from my head.
We had three people die in Charlottesville connected to the events surrounding those idiotic white supremacists. The internet has gone berserk. Major media outlets are providing almost wall-to-wall coverage. The President is being condemned for a response that critics say was not strong enough. Fingers pointing everywhere.
On the same day yesterday we had at least 5,500 rapes take place to victims of human trafficking and we didn’t see 1/100th the outcry over those rapes.
Oh, and today? There’s another 5,500 rapes of human trafficking victims happening.
5,500 will happen tomorrow.
And when people have moved on from Charlottesville, when it’s no longer the hot item in the news cycle, when the protesters are gone and some other item is catching the internet’s eye…on THAT day…
5,500 rapes of human trafficking victims will be happening.
5,500 women and girls raped.
In my backyard. I know there are human trafficking victims in Nashville, Tennessee.
These victims are near you too.
These women are in towns all around the nation.
Big cities. Small towns. Rural areas. In some cases, girls as young as 12 to 14 being raped while someone else pockets money or some other goods for it.
Now, you’re probably thinking “where did he get that number of rapes? Is he just making it up?”
According to the Polaris Project, 5,551 cases of human trafficking were reported in 2016 to their human trafficking hotline. Women whose situations are showing “moderate indicators” of human trafficking top 5,200. So I just rounded the 5,551 down to 5,500 for the sake of this post.
These women are not wanting to have sex for someone else to get paid. That’s rape. Period. There’s no other way to describe the situation.
So that’s where I came up with the 5,500 rapes figure.
However, these women rarely are raped just once per day.
Some women will be raped multiple times a day by “johns” paying for the chance to commit rape.
Let me bring some evidence to expound on that point.
According to this article from Think Progress, this victim was raped an average of six times a day.
So let’s use that as the basis for discussion because it’s much more likely a victim of human trafficking is not going to face one rape a day.
Six times 5,500 rapes.
EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
And I promise you…based on discussions I’ve had with those fighting this scourge over the last decade…33,000 is a low number for the number of rapes inflicted daily on human trafficking victims.
Now, I’m not trying to downplay the deaths in Charlottesville or the righteous anger that came from it.
I stand right beside those condemning the morons involved in white supremacy and their movements.
I’m trying to figure out why 33,000 rapes every single day doesn’t merit the same level of outrage.
I would settle for half the level of outrage.
Even 1/4 the level would be a major increase.
And while I’m focusing on the women who are being forced into sex trafficking…there is also men, boys, women & girls forced into forced labor trafficking as well.
This is a national scourge and a blight on every single one of our communities.
Human trafficking must be eradicated.
I’m sure there are some of you very angry that I’m talking about women being raped in human trafficking in light of the Charlottesville incident. I get it. You’re fired up, you’re angry, you’re part of the throng mentality lashing out (and that’s not an insult; “throng” in the sense of “large group moving in the same direction with a motivation”). You don’t want your thunder “stolen” or re-focused somewhere other than where you want the attention to stay.
I completely understand your arguments and I completely understand your passion.
But I’ve had a passion to help these women for a decade and I can’t stop thinking about helping them now just because Charlottesville’s incident is not trafficking related.
I’m just hoping that if I write this, and you see this, that when you get that moment to step back and breathe you look as this situation and realize we could use your passionate social media outcry too.