Timothy Buchanan
Blind eyes and closed minds
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By Timothy Buchanan
January 27, 2020

It's a subject that many of us would prefer to ignore, avoid or dismiss. For this reason, sex-trafficking is now the largest industry in the world with the United States being the greatest market. The Christian documentary, Blind Eyes Opened, has been shown in theaters nationwide with the hope of calling the Church to action, but the eyes of millions are still tightly shut to the myriad of abuses against women and children.

Sex trafficking includes forced prostitution, sex-slavery and sexual abuse of children and women. Victims may be smuggled into the United States, but most are abducted domestically, either by force or cunning persuasion. The majority of are women and girls, but 10 to 15% or more are boys and young men.

First-hand accounts of trafficked girls and women in Blind Eyes Opened are as gut-wrenching and infuriating as they are overwhelmingly sad and tragic. Some were trafficked by step-fathers, uncles or family friends. Others were introduced to depravity and degradation by drug dealers, boyfriends and pimps. Some were held captive by chains or in locked rooms, while others were shackled by their abusers with invisible bonds of fear, dependence or misguided notions of love.

Sex-trafficking is carried on in our communities behind a black veil of deceit and ignorance, thriving under our very noses. Our hyper-sexualized culture has turned many of our men into monsters and young women into emotionally-crippled heaps of undeserved guilt and shame. In a godless society that no longer recognizes an individual as a precious soul living in a body, some will view the body as a commodity for sale at a price.

After a time, the Stockholm Syndrome often plays a role in keeping women under the control of their oppressors. Stockholm Syndrome is the psychopathy in which the victim of kidnaping or sexual abuse becomes so conditioned as to form an affinity with his or her oppressor. The 1954 novel, The Story of O, was an account of the bizarre distortion of reality that takes place in sexually-abusive relationships. Battered-wife Syndrome is another example that illustrates the frustrating difficulty of liberating women from abusive situations and relationships.

Pornography is a major gateway drawing men into the sex-market. When men objectify women by viewing them on a printed page or video screen, a compulsion is formed and then it's a short step to using and abusing them in the flesh. Once demand for a product or service is established, someone will seek to satisfy that demand.

Broken homes where there is frequent conflict and turmoil often cause girls, boys and young women question their worth. They will isolate themselves from friends and family members which makes them vulnerable to traffickers who immediately begin grooming them for the sex trade. There is a known psychology to spotting girls in public places who are most likely to be drawn away and into the hands of dangerous sexual predators.

According to the producers of Blind Eyes Opened, the average age of a girl forced into the sex trade is between 11 and 14 years-old. Once in the business, an inconvenient pregnancy causes her value to her handlers to decline, so many young women are coerced or forced into having abortions. In fact, a large majority of trafficked women and girls endure abortions.

It can be no coincidence that at a time when the sex trade is exploding in many states, parental consent laws for abortion are being weakened, challenged and overturned under the auspices of care and concern for the privacy of women and girls who may, in fact, be under duress. The alignment of the sex trade to the abortion industry is such that every instance of a minor seeking an abortion should trigger an investigation.

According to organizations like Freedom 4/24, which seeks to rescue and rehabilitate trafficked women, many are inducted through the foster care system. A bill introduced by the Democrat majority in the Virginia General Assembly would allow the Department of Social Services to reject Christian couples from consideration as foster parents. Clearly, the nefarious influence of the sex trade has reached into state governments.

No one's little girl tells herself, "I want to be a harlot or a sex-slave when I grow up." No one's son sets out to become a trafficker, abuser or pimp. The transformations occur slowly over long periods of time in situations where no firm moral foundation exists.

The first step in effective problem-solving is identification of signs and symptoms. One way that caring people are blinded to sex trafficking is by minimizing the impact and severity of the abuse. Embracing deceptive jargon eventually has an effect on the mind. Referring to sex-slaves and prostitutes as "sex workers," implants the false illusion that these are participants in victimless crimes or that the victims are willingly compliant. Confronting these devilish lies is one step toward ending the apathy and ignorance of this growing new form of American slavery.

Sex trade victims are held captive behind a wall of silence though they often appear in public places. As many as 88% of trafficked girls and young women will seek some sort of medical treatment. These are opportunities for intervention.

The wall of silence must be broken. Each wretched victim of sex trafficking is someone's daughter or son, sister or brother, former girlfriend or friend. Most importantly, each of them is a precious soul created by a good and loving God to reflect His glory. As such, Christians have a divine obligation to inform ourselves and others and to recognize and rescue oppressed souls on both ends of the sex trade market. It's an ugly and difficult problem to face. But we can only choose either to confront it courageously now, or we shall have to battle it personally later.

The explosion of sex trafficking in the United States is one classic example of how our refusal to deal with small and isolated sins one day, can lead to ghastly human suffering the next.

© Timothy Buchanan

 

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Timothy Buchanan

Timothy Buchanan is a US Navy veteran, a former defense contractor and broadcast engineer. He's the author of two published books and a regular contributor to BarbWire.com. Timothy and his wife live among the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia.

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