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  • Writer's pictureSWITCH Nonprofit

SEX TRAFFICKING RESTORATION


Give the gift of a restored life

Sex trafficking restoration sounds so unusual…the two words don’t seem to go together at all. What does that statement even mean? Well, if you stick around, you’ll get more than just an explanation. We are going to give you 10 ways to help fight sex trafficking right where you are at, plus, give you the opportunity to give the gift of a restored life.

Sex Trafficking, Restoration, and the Gift of a Restored Life

Stacey was in high school. She was 17, a great student, cheerleader, and had a satisfying part-time job at the local diner. None of that mattered because what Stacey wanted most was to feel loved and cherished. Even though she wasn’t on anyone’s radar as an at-risk child, her desires and lack of awareness opened her up to exploitation. To make a long story short, Prince Charming came into her life and told her all the things she wanted to hear. He knew her deepest heart's desire and used that against her. In less than two weeks, this “good guy” was able to convince Stacey to begin stripping. Stacey never dreamed of working in a strip club.

She never had a desire to expose herself to complete strangers. The first time she stood on the dance floor she was filled with anxiety and shame… Thankfully, Stacey’s very close friend knew the signs of sex trafficking and was able to get her away from this very bad man. To this day, Stacey recognizes how fortunate she was that nothing else happened. Even though Stacey was able to escape a very evil situation, she still had to go through a process of restoration: sex trafficking restoration. She needed to learn why she so easily gave herself to this trafficker and what she could do in the future to prevent this from ever happening again. Her trust in humanity was broken and that, too, had to be repaired. It’s been a while since Stacey went through this horrible experience. Now that she’s able to look back she is thankful for the gift of a restored life that came through her close friends and family. Because they knew the signs of trafficking, they were able to help her get away and get help.



The Dreams of a Child

Have you ever heard a child say, “When I grow up, I want to sell my body as a sex worker?” No child EVER says that or even thinks that. It’s not until there’s a situation that is so painful that the only way out seems to be through the exploitation of their body that someone gives away something so precious. It’s never a dream. Sex trafficking restoration isn’t just about helping people who have been forced or coerced into sexual exploitation. It’s about creating a healthy morality around sexuality and teaching kids from a young age how to respect themselves so that others cannot take advantage of them. It’s about educating adults that their lives are important and they have value and meaning beyond what they can offer through their body. Real restoration is about restoring the innocence that evil tries so hard to take from every person on this planet. It’s about helping every person realize that they are made in the image of a loving God. It’s about digging past the hurt and pain that comes through life and rediscovering the dreams that once existed in the mind of a child.



What is Sex Trafficking

In order to help someone through sex trafficking restoration you first have to know what sex trafficking looks like. Unfortunately, there’s no one-size fits all definition, but there are markers and statistics that you can learn in order to be better informed.

  1. Sex trafficking happens when someone uses force, fraud or coercion to make any adult commit a commercial sex act. It’s also sex trafficking whenever anyone does anything to get a minor to commit a commercial sex act.

  2. A commercial sex act can be anything that is done in exchange for an item of value, such as money, rent, drugs, food, etc. The following are examples of things that can be considered as commercial sex:

    1. Prostitution

    2. Pornography

    3. Stripping

    4. Any sexual performance

  3. SEX TRAFFICKING THRIVES BECAUSE THERE IS DEMAND!

    1. The buyer creates a market

    2. The pimp or trafficker supplies the product

    3. Victims can be boys, girls, men, and women that are bought and sold

  4. Statistics vary but the common age a child enters sex trafficking is between 14 to 16 years old.

  5. Most victims know their trafficker and are groomed over a period of weeks or months.

  6. Trafficking victims are regularly unidentified or misidentified. They might look like they are:

    1. Homeless.

    2. A drug addict.

    3. A domestic violence victim.

    4. Runaway


You Can Give the Gift of a Restored Life

By getting involved in the fight against trafficking and sexual exploitation you make it possible for one more life to be restored. If even just one life is set free from the pain of this evil, then we have changed the world for the better. We may never see the absolute end of sex trafficking, but we can eradicate it from our community and make it so hard for traffickers to exist here that they have to leave. Here are five ways you can get involved right away.

  1. Get Educated: Learn what sex trafficking really looks like. Don’t be fooled by the sensational posts on social media. Learn the truth and then tell others. You can start by having one of the Switch team members do a presentation for your small group, youth group, Church, Rotary, or any other group. Contact our Education Manager, Aly Decken, to schedule a presentation. (aly@switchsc.org).

  2. Become a Social Media Warrior: Switch shares regularly on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You can help get the right information out to your friends by commenting and sharing our content. If you aren’t sure what to share or if you want help creating posts, email us and we’d be happy to send you a social media toolkit.

  3. Learn the Warning Signs and Report it: Switch offers regular training that will help you identify the warning signs of trafficking. Once armed with that knowledge, you will be equipped to call the National Human Trafficking Hotline whenever you suspect trafficking. That number is (888) 373-7888.

  4. Volunteer: Switch offers a number of ways for you to get involved in this fight. You can reach out to our volunteer coordinator to learn more about volunteering with Switch. (info@switchsc.org).

  5. Donate and Raise Awareness: Never underestimate the power of giving. Every dollar you donate helps Switch to eradicate human trafficking and sexual exploitation in the Upstate. Give today and you can help a victim get counseling, food, cover up a tattoo put on by her trafficker, get a ride to necessary appointments, and even help them get closer to Jesus.


How much is a restored life worth? There’s no dollar amount you can put on that. All we can do is join together to fight this evil and help victims find sex trafficking restoration. Please join in the fight today, get trained, and give to help us eradicate sex trafficking.




-This blog was written by a local, nonprofit organization called SWITCH, that specializes in Human Trafficking Prevention. Below is their website to find more information:


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