“The locusts of everyday violence have been allowed to swarm unabated in the developing world. And they are laying waste to the hope of the poor.” – Gary A. Haugen and Victor Boutros in their new book, The Locust Effect
As we work to combat sex trafficking in the U.S. and abroad, we come face to face every day with the reality that poor people are vulnerable to violence. Globally, the facts are stunning. According to International Justice Mission, nearly 30 million children, women and men are held as forced labor slaves. One in 5 women will be a victim of rape or attempted rape – and sexual violence makes everyday activities like going to school, gathering water, using a communal restroom or taking public transport dangerous. IJM states that 4 billion people – that most of the world’s poorest people – live in places where their justice systems don’t or can’t protect them from these kinds of “everyday violence.”
In the United States, homeless, runaway or impoverished youth are at increased risk of being commercially sexually exploited by traffickers and buyers. They are easily and quickly targeted as vulnerable and needy youth by traffickers seeking to exploit their body for cash. Unfortunately, the U.S. justice system often overlooks these youth, classifying them as delinquent and placing them into a system that only further perpetuates their belief that help is beyond reach.
In India and Nepal, it is not uncommon for women enrolled in our shelters to share stories of being sold into the brothels at a young age so their parents could pay rent or feed their siblings. Our friends tell horrific tales of violence committed by the hands of brutal buyers. Knowing only violence, they live in fear and slavery.
Our friends at International Justice Mission just put together this unforgettable video that shows what the world is up against as we work together to help our poorest neighbors. You won’t want to miss the powerful moment at 1:48 – – our fight against poverty is worth safeguarding.
Want more? Check out The Locust Effect, by IJM’s president Gary A. Haugen, which releases today.