Hey there! My name is Courtney and I am currently living in Abilene, TX working in pediatrics. I graduated from Baylor University last year and I love my Baylor Bears about as much as I love fighting for injustice.
Here we are, living in the midst of uncharted territory – confused, anxious, gripped by panic and uncertainty. We pass our monotonous days eagerly awaiting good things to come, waiting for life to go back to normal. We imagine what it will be like when we get to embrace our friends without fear and walk into a restaurant hearing laughter and conversation once again. These are only a few things I have felt since COVID-19 has caused this global pandemic.
Our reality has come to a screeching halt overnight without an end in sight, but trafficking has not stopped. This reality for so many has not come to an end because of a stay at home order or a social distance rule being enforced. In fact Samleang Seila the director of End Child Prostitution and Trafficking International says that “child sex offenders are taking advantage of this time to get online and to be in touch with, groom and lure children to sexual activities.” Children are still being exploited, abused, and remain trapped in situations that are incredibly difficult to escape. Even in this season of unprecedented disruption, our mission has not changed. The fight against human trafficking is not on pause. It is still worth it. They are worth it. The hours of training to raise awareness and start conversations about this are worth it.
Working in the medical field during this time has opened my eyes to this reality more than ever. Every conversation and every moment of every day seems to be about the virus. Every action is about taking extreme precautions to protect our friends, families, and community. This has me thinking – what would it be like if the fight against trafficking was fueled with this much determination and commitment? I believe our world would never look the same.
Children who are being trafficked have been overlooked, pushed aside, and forgotten countless times. This is what fuels my passion to fight against trafficking. My hope is for a world that not only fights against coronavirus with this much energy but who can unify and advocate for children who are being exploited and neglected. We were already living in a global pandemic before this quarantine. Sex trafficking is a global pandemic that has lasted far longer than any virus. I want to live in a world that does not settle with children being exploited, forgotten, and mistreated. Even with the world on pause, the time to fight is still now.