Sex trafficking happens to children in your community every day. At Shared Hope, we are committed to not only telling the world about it, but to also provide resources and tools that will empower you to do something about it.
Recently, Shared Hope entered the world of podcasts by launching a podcast of our own called Invading the Darkness. Named after our founder and president Linda Smith’s book with the same title, the podcast was created to equip you with the knowledge and the tools to keep the kids in your community safe from traffickers.
Invading the Darkness: stories from the fight against child sex trafficking podcast, features Linda Smith, the founder of Shared Hope International. We invite you to join Linda as she shares stories from her 23 years of fighting the battle of domestic minor sex trafficking.
Invading the Darkness is available now to stream on the most popular podcast platforms including Apple and Spotify.
In our first episode, Linda Smith and Samantha Vardaman talk about the importance of language and how we use it in the fight against child sex trafficking.
Here’s an excerpt from the episode where Linda Smith talks about language:
“Child sex trafficking is just really a horrible word, but prostitute is worse. And I know as we struggled with this research, we went to places all over the United States, again under a Justice Grant. And we went in to find out the perception of seven different areas of their population, judges and prosecutors and child protective services and teachers, it went on. And to find out what they were doing. And we realized as we were doing this research on Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking for the Justice Department, that the reality was, is they’d say, “Oh, you mean the prostitutes?”
Our language in the state culture in our neighborhoods, in our communities, had still so label these children by what was happening to them, that they didn’t really know. Law enforcement, you can say, “It’s really the fault of law enforcement.” No. They’re following the law and part of the culture that would allow that.
Now, when I researched the Invading the Darkness book, which is a history book on trafficking, I was looking at the 1910 records and in book, a lot of what was going on. And I started realizing that they had prostitution laws, but they really didn’t affect the buyer. It only affected those that would actually sell somebody. And there was really nothing there for those that were sold.
But I think the big issue was this, the culture was so conflicted. Some would cry out for the boys and the girls. But the boy, they just didn’t want to go blind. They didn’t want him to go crazy. “This could hurt you too.”
So they were calling out for protecting their boys and the girls. And the girls are being put into those places. But the same culture had determinations in courts that fallen or immoral women, which were the girls put into prostitution, could not be credible in court to even testify about their own rapes. Conflicted societies, judicial systems, still not seeing the buyers driving the market as a problem. But a hundred years later, we still have that lack of application of justice because of the language. Prostitute girl, just John, a guy doing what guys do.
So commending you and the team at the Institute, because this has been a long climb to get to whereas much of the language has changed. And now we have a climb to change the culture.”
You can listen to the entire episode here, or by subscribing to the podcast and listening on Apple or Spotify. Over the course of the next few months, you can expect a brand new episode each Tuesday.
Will You Help Us Invade The Darkness By Reaching More People?
To help us reach more people with our new Invading the Darkness podcast, you can partner with us by taking action. Here are four things you can do today:
- Listen to each podcast episode
- Share the podcast with your network (On Spotify episode page, you can actually share directly to your IG or FB news feed and stories feed.)
- Rate & review podcast on Apple
- Post a comment on our Invading the Darkness podcast page
Our desire is that each episode of Invading the Darkness will help you understand the importance of fighting child sex trafficking as well as equip you to join in that fight. Thank you for joining us. Together, we are invading the darkness and sharing hope with the many.