Selling an individual for the purpose of sex and pleasure has been with us since the beginning of time. Oftentimes the media and Hollywood try to glamorize the process by dressing up women and girls (and I know sometimes boys) to appeal to those who support such activities. January is National Human Trafficking Month. A spotlight is placed on understanding the dark side of this world and how the victims get pulled deeper and deeper into the web losing complete control of their lives and future. We must make it clear that our girls (and boys) are not for sale.
Forgotten Children, Incorporated (FCI) President, Tera Hilliard shared, according to the FBI, Black children comprise 53% of all juvenile prostitution arrests — and 92% of the girls in Los Angeles County, the juvenile justice system identified many of the trafficking victims were Black. Forgotten Children, Inc. is raising awareness about this growing problem in our community. On Saturday, January 21st, at the Center of Hope in Inglewood, FCI will hold the Stop the Demand Conference. They will hold a conversation addressing the consequences of sex buying in the community through the lens of legislation, politics, and cultural norms. Awareness and advocating for change are a way all of us can help make a difference. Instead of just punishing the victims (the girls), we must hold them accountable and punish the perpetrators. Forgiving For Living supports the work of Forgotten Children through signs on buses across the city sharing the message to stop the demand.
Forgotten Children Inc. is not the only organization trying to help stop human trafficking and the tragedies that go with that world and lifestyle. There are so many issues that tie into how young people get involved in such a world. One of those issues is homelessness and the lack of family support. Another organization that is trying to help young women not have to turn to that lifestyle for survival is the Nehemiah ProjectLA (NPLA). The Nehemiah Project helps former foster youth build brighter futures with the support of a “forever family.” They achieve this by providing transitional housing, life skills training, referral services, and help for former foster youth to connect with vital resources to succeed. When young people have nowhere to go, they often turn to the streets and the streets will eat them up. A home provides hope.
Forgiving For Living, Inc. is the organization that our family started close to 25 years ago with the whole purpose of building up the self-esteem of young women to believe in themselves and to understand that no matter what they may have experienced so far in their life, it is never too late to turn around and start over. We believe that by providing mentorship, teaching life skills, and giving them exposure to various options and possibilities in life, they will have a fighting chance to have a positive and productive life. We as a society cannot talk about or condemn young people for their choices if we are not providing them with options that can change their lives.
Together we can help stop the demand for selling our children by all getting involved and doing our part. If you see something that you know is not right, speak up. Help someone in need to get back on the right track, and most of all we must condemn those that are doing the selling and buying of our daughters, sisters, and friends. #FCI #NPLA #HumanTraffickingMonth
Healing Without Hate: It’s a choice. It’s a lifestyle. Pass it on.