"I thought it only happened in poor countries," Sister Gladys Leigh told reporters. But, like too many people, the St. Louis nun underestimated the strong grip of sex trafficking. Now a volunteer at St. Louis's shelter for recovering sex slaves, Leigh and others know all too well the dark and horrifying world of forced prostitution. Over and over again, she's heard stories like Christine McDonald's. "I'd been branded like an animal, stabbed, held at gunpoint, chained to a leash in a closet. With a life like that," she said wistfully, "all you can do is pray for death."
Fortunately for Christine and thousands of girls like her, leaders are more committed than ever to answering a different prayer – for help. With sex trafficking exploding in the U.S. (the FBI calls it the fastest-growing business of organized crime), Congress is preparing to take on the $9.8 billion industry that's buying and selling tens of thousands of little girls a year. For events like the Super Bowl, some cities have seen as many as 10,000 children brought in before the game hoping to do business with men who have money to burn. Increasingly, the targets aren't just runaways or desperate women either. Young victims are lured away from the mall by men who say they want to buy them clothes or dinner. And they never come back.
Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) is hoping to change that by zeroing in on one of the roots of the problem: online advertising. She knows that if the government can cut off trade at its hub – the Internet, where girls are marketed like common merchandise – it'll go a long way to stopping the sales in and out of hotels. Under her bill, the Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation Act, or SAVE, it would be a crime for any company to knowingly run ads, or profit from ads, that offer forced sex with a child. Based on her research, just one online service featured more than 2,800 little girls! more >>
The United States has offered to help the Nigerian government locate a large number of girls believed to have been abducted by the terrorist group Boko Haram.
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters on Thursday that the US has been and will continue to help Nigeria regarding the mass abduction and overall antiterrorism efforts.
NASHVILLE—Tony Merida, the founding pastor of Imago Dei Church in Raleigh, North Carolina, spoke on the topic of human sexuality during the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission's annual leadership summit that was held in Nashville last week.
Following his discussion on "the Gospel and human trafficking," Merida, an associate professor of preaching at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, spoke with The Christian Post about the relationship between pornography and sex trafficking, explained why awareness is insufficient, and laid out how Christians can do more to fight "the darkest of sins."
The following is an edited transcript of the interview. more >>
Morality in Media, an anti-pornography organization which is part of the Coalition to End Sex Exploitation, is hosting a summit in Washington, D.C. to train people on how to combat pornography and sexual exploitation in their communities.
"We are not going to let the pornographers and pop media continue to push the lies that pornography is victimless, and because of the 'ubiquity' of porn, there is nothing we can do to stop sexual exploitation. There is a strong movement forming and all are encouraged to join us," Dawn Hawkins, executive director for Morality in Media, told The Christian Post Friday.
The event will be held at the Tyson's Corner Marriott in Virginia on May 16-17 and is billed as the conference that will officially kick-start the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation. Hawkins noted that this will be "the coalition's first event, as well as the first national conference on the harms of pornography in 27 years." more >>
President Jimmy Carter has publicly denounced sex-selective abortion, considering it part of the global oppression of women.
In an interview with David Letterman on Monday, the 89-year-old former president said that sex-selective abortion and infanticide of female babies was the "worst human rights abuse on earth."
"160 million girls are now missing from the face of the earth because they were murdered at birth by their parents or either selectively aborted when their parents find out that the fetus is a girl," said Carter. more >>
First Lady Michelle Obama has been criticized by a women's rights group for failing to speak out during her week-long visit to China against forced abortions and human rights abuses.
"I am extremely disappointed that Mrs. Obama has deliberately ignored egregious women's rights abuses while in China," said Reggie Littlejohn, president of Women's Rights Without Frontiers, on Wednesday. "Mrs. Obama has positioned herself as an international women's leader. She could have done so much good if she had been willing to use her position to advance women's rights in a nation that tramples them.
"Mrs. Obama has chosen to ignore the intense suffering of hundreds of millions of women who have been victims of forced abortion, involuntary sterilization, gendercide and sexual slavery." more >>