2020 Blog

Fighting sex trafficking daily

When I bring up sex trafficking in conversations, the whole atmosphere of the room feels like it shifts. It always feels heavy, and no one knows what emotion to feel. There's this sense of hurt that people feel for knowing that it happens in the US, but there's also the feeling of confusion because statistics show that it’s close to home even when we feel like we never see it. I live in a small town in North Carolina where I grew up thinking that trafficking must not exist, but even just last month, 19 people were arrested on sex trafficking related charges. Other statistics include:

  • There are currently 79,000 young adults and minors being sex trafficked in Texas. - University of Texas
  • 83% of victims in confirmed sex-trafficking incidents were identified as U.S. citizens. - US Justice Department
  • 1 of 6 missing children are likely victims of sex trafficking. - National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC)

A huge misconception is that sex trafficking only happens in big cities and that we have to be someone in law enforcement or some type of high-powered job to make a difference. In a way, no, we aren’t able to make a difference in this exploitation by ourselves. BUT!! Together, I really think we can lock arms like Pedal the Pacific is doing with The National Center of Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and The Refuge for DMST and we can put an end to domestic minor sex trafficking.

4 things you can do daily to fight sex trafficking

1. Educate yourself!

One of the biggest ways you can fight against sex trafficking is to educate yourself! When we educate ourselves about sex trafficking, we not only learn about the signs of sex trafficking, but we also can becomes better advocates and educate others as well. Resources like thelifestory.org and polarisproject.org are SUPER beneficial.  The Life Story interviews women on the realities of the sex trade and shows how individuals can help work to provide long-term, trauma-informed support. Polaris Project provides data about trafficking in America and breaks down common myths about trafficking.

Also, to report any human trafficking cases, call 1 (888) 373-7888 or go to humantraffickinghotline.org

2. Talk to elected officials!

I think this one seems scary to most people because the idea of government and politics makes everyone run away, BUT Exodus Cry actually makes it superrrrrrrr easy to get involved! Learn about what your local government is doing as well in your own state.

3. Shop sustainably

Every purchase you make can make a huge impact. Sex trafficking is a form of human trafficking, also known as modern day slavery. Another form of human trafficking is labor trafficking, which includes situations of debt bondage, forced labor, and involuntary child labor. We can fight both sex trafficking and labor trafficking by paying attention to who made your products and their work environments!

There's lots of companies now who donate and support other organizations who are fighting sex trafficking - here’s some amazing ones!

- Elegantees

- Citizen & Darling

- The Starfish Project

- Noonday Collection

4. Join our ride!

Everyone is able to join us while we ride to fight sex trafficking through the power of donations! This year, we are riding for The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and The Refuge for DMST. Donate anytime here through this link.

Love, your average 22 year old who passionately believes we can all fight to end sex trafficking,

Alex Shoup!

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