Freedom from Sex Trafficking
It is that time of year where we fire up the grill, dress in our wildest combos of red, white, and blue, crack a cold drink and enjoy the fireworks shows all in celebration of freedom. For so many of us we will never know a life without this level of freedom. Yes, we may feel enslaved to our desk job or to the endless housework that needs to be done, but this is not a true loss of freedom.
There are countless women and children in this country that are experiencing a true loss of freedom.
She is not able to eat whenever she feels hungry, because her trafficker is using her food as a means of getting her to do what he wants.
He is not able to sleep whenever he feels tired, because his trafficker is using sleep deprivation to maintain control over him.
She is failing her freshman year in high school because her trafficker is forcing her to meet buyers every evening instead of doing her homework.
He is unable to call or text his friends and family because his trafficker is afraid that he will ask for help.
She is dealing with an untreated wrist fracture from a violent buyer because her trafficker refuses to allow her to seek medical help.
Not only have victims of this crime lost their right to basic freedoms such as food, sleep, medical attention, and education they have lost the right to have a say over their own bodies. The freedom to say who is allowed to touch them and in what way.
Wars have been fought over these freedoms, yet this war is difficult to relate to. It can easily feel less real because our soldiers are not suiting up to fight, the loved ones that are lost to this war are rarely talked about in the media and it can be a struggle to put a face to it. It is time to change this.
Imagine with me now that someone has taking control over your life. You are being told when you can sleep, what you can wear and who you can talk to. You are then being instructed on what sex acts you need to do, with whom and in what strange hotel. If you refuse you are hit or kicked repeatedly. You become so afraid that the simple act of asking for help seems impossible.
Imagine that you reach a point where you accept that this is your life. You become so defeated that you have given up hope of anyone ever discovering what is happening to you. You stop caring about your own life altogether.
This is the loss of freedom that is happening right here in this country, every day to countless women and children. This is the loss of freedom that could happen to you, to your child, to your niece or nephew.
These are the freedoms that Guardian Group is working diligently to restore. Guardian Group comes alongside resource constrained law enforcement agencies across the nation to provide intelligence support. By nature, law enforcement’s response is reactive, they learn about someone experiencing this type of abuse from a family member or friend of the victim and then devise a plan to provide recovery. Our goal is to bring a more proactive approach by actively looking for these victims to allow law enforcement to provide recovery faster. A huge portion of this crime lives on the internet, allowing Guardian Group to identify victims and illuminate them to law enforcement across the nation. This war is not raging loudly around us, instead it is growing and moving rapidly about silently. Going unnoticed as more and more victims fall prey to these abusers.