12 pieces: educating, equipping and engaging houses of worship in combatting sex trafficking

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In 2013, reports indicated that we lost more than 2,300 children, aged 12 – 14, to sex trafficking. During our NYC Clergy Roundtable we learned that it was not just a problem experienced in Third World countries, it was happening in our backyard at an alarming rate. While we knew that the subject of sex trafficking was not new, we did not realize how many children were impacted. What became equally disturbing was learning there is no sound data or collective city-wide resources to address this issue. I became motivated when I learned that the church is not at the vanguard of confronting this atrocity. I wondered if our lack of initiative primarily stems from our ignorance or lack of concern. Knowing that people of faith are moved by God’s heart, it was important for me to explore what we, as houses of worship knew, what we needed to learn, and if we would say “yes” to taking the lead to eradicate human trafficking. In this project, I worked to educate, equip and engage houses of worship to be in the “know” about sex trafficking, to hear the heart of God, and to commit to becoming action agents in doing their part in eradicating sex trafficking. I investigated the concept of creating a safe haven network where houses of worship provide support for victims of human trafficking. I also explored the topic of “sex” and its legitimacy as a topic within our houses of worship. Lastly, I explored what it would take to build a coalition that could work together and share best practices. It is my belief that, given the proper tools, we are well-equipped as houses of worship to win the fight against sex trafficking.  
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