Sex Trafficking in Georgia
In Atlanta, Georgia, about 200–300 girls are trafficked each month in this city. Statistics show these children are lured into this lifestyle as early age 12. Many times they’re runaways. They leave home because something is not healthy there — neglect, abuse, deprivation — and the child looks elsewhere for love.Those who trap these kids know exactly what to say to lure and quickly enslave them. They are forced to sell themselves between eight and 12 times a night. They don’t get the money, and sometimes they are deprived, sometimes drugged to stay awake so they can perform more. Those who buy these young sex slaves are no better.
Amazing Progress Made
In Atlanta, there are growing numbers of people who are doing great work with awareness campaigns and advocacy. In the last few years, the laws of Georgia have progressed as a result of this work. Law enforcement agencies across the state are becoming more effective at identifying and freeing the hundreds of women wanting a way out. Ministries like Out of Darkness have helped push the door open on the oppression that has occurred in the shadows of Atlanta, and have allowed women a way out.
More Than Just Their Freedom
For a moment, imagine that you were trafficked at 13 years old and sold to a pimp. From that time forward your body was sold 10 times per night for the next six years. You would have been essentially raped over 21,000 times before you turned 20 years old. During that time you would have received many random beatings. You learned none of the normal lessons that people receive during this formative time. Your concept of social structure would be significantly skewed. Your self-image would be significantly broken. You have become addicted to drugs. You now suffer from PTSD along with other psychological conditions that have not been diagnosed. You have had no functional community for the last six years.
Now, imagine one day you were freed.
Where would you go? How much time do you think it would take for you to become a functional member in a society that you do not know or understand? How long would it take to sort out the psychological trauma until you were functional? How long would it take you to feel safe enough to be in an apartment alone, unafraid? How will you support yourself when you have few developed skills and no high-school diploma? How will you learn how to manage money since you have never had any to manage?
Awareness, improved laws, and courageous law enforcers are all needed and essential. However, if this has been your journey, you need something more than freedom. You need a community of people who understand you. You need time and space to heal. You need an opportunity to learn normal life lessons. You need time to discover who you are and what you like.
Of women who want out of sex trafficking, less than 60% even have a place to stay.