Hello, My Name is Sex?

All they were meant for was sex. They probably got fed beautiful enough lies. They most likely hated their fathers enough to believe the lies or feel as if they couldn’t speak out for protection. They were probably quietly called the hotel’s residential whores.

I mean, heck, obviously that’s what they were. Two men went into their rooms who most likely didn’t look like they could have been the girls’ fathers. The girls never left, always smiled and never called the cops. Whoredom in Alaska isn’t that hard to imagine. Right? We could stand back and mentally write their story and possibly judge them for their character. When it all comes down to it, though, it is Alaska.

Whatever floats your boat, Kiddos.

Two men in Fairbanks, Alaska, underwent a traffic citation recently which led to the seizure of narcotics and the discovery of two women under the age of 21 (Anchorage Daily News). One night being used for sex is enough. At least one of these women had been kept for over a year.

As I read their story, my heart broke in two. To be fair, women go unnoticed so often in Alaska, I was shocked to hear the men were being held accountable. I have too many young women friends who only changed their situation by the grace of God. The offending men are never pursued or only verbally threatened by an overprotective male in the woman’s life. 

Because “undercover and low-grade” trafficking is so common in Alaska, I am not shocked by the woes of these women. Mentally, I started praying over the women as soon as I saw the words trafficked and Alaska. 

Then I did something I never thought I’d do. I choked back the phrase, “Thank you for keeping them alive.” I shed a few tears and whispered, “If they don’t know You, Lord, thank you for giving them another chance. If they do know You… Oh, Jesus, do a miracle and give them the desire to continue living.”

Christians come down really heavily raising a collective rant about ending trafficking. Wholeheartedly, I couldn’t agree more. No one deserves that level of mental, emotional and Spiritual abuse. Only after those first three things are broken in a woman does she even stop to consider regretting the scars of physical and sexual abuse.

But the reality is, freeing her from her surroundings or the “Johns” who stole her innocence isn’t freeing her. The bonds go to her soul, the cage to her spirit. She feels dirty, useless, hated and abhorred. She may be able to walk the streets again, but those emotions warring for her life make her long for the bedroom again. 

According to Equality Now, 6 out of 10 women identified as trafficked victims are used for sexual exploitation. With that many “sisters” on the street being used for thirty seconds of mindless bliss, returning to her trafficked surroundings is easier if there isn’t emotional, mental and spiritual protection and support. She’ll be seen as needy. She’ll ask the same questions over and over and over again. Answer them. Every time.

With the recent story heavy on my mind, I plead for a perspective shift in my Christian brothers and sisters. Yes, work towards ending sex slavery. Yes, talk about it enough that we can’t act like it doesn’t exist. Do it proactively, though.

Be willing to be seen as the awkward prude in the grocery store who asks the nervous teen if the guy holding her hand is good to her. Look for fear. Look for hatred. Look for a tightened grip on her hand. Be willing to hold the young woman’s gaze for an almost-awkward amount of time. Even if she thinks her life is fantastic (pimps really can be sweet, smooth and pleasing), holding her eye contact can tell you so much.

Believe it or not, convincing the woman that you see her breaks her mindset that her identity will always be sex. If she tears up when you ask her her name… Whisper the truth and the call the cops. 

Tell her her name is so much more than Slave.