This past summer, a news story from near where we used to live caught my eye and ear. There was an arrest in Dothan, AL of a human sex trafficker. When you realize that such a crime has occurred in a place with which you are familiar and have driven by or through so many times, it opens your eyes. I never realized, as did many others, how rampant human sex trafficking is in our country.
Not long after that, I saw a news story on a local t.v. station that opened my eyes even further. It centered on the human sex trafficking that goes on between Atlanta and Birmingham on I-20, the major highway connecting the two, whose traffic we can often hear from our house. The statistics were alarming, to say the least. The age ranges of girls and women, while most are in their teens, were from low single digits up to someone in their early fifties. The sheer number of victims is in the thousands. The stories and statistics are out there; just plug in human sex trafficking in your search bar and watch what comes up. It may shock you to see what’s going on in your own backyard, so to speak.
One late night, not long after seeing these news stories, I happened upon one of my favorite things: an old, silent film. This one was from 1913! When I watch these films I always think of my grandparents–how young they were, mere children, and the things they were living through. This particular movie was about human trafficking…in 1913. Apparently, a serious enough problem, even then, for someone to feel it warranted a film be made of it.
Today, while on our local police station’s FB page, I saw a post from a local community t.v. station and clicked on it. It was a short documentary-style program with a title proclaiming that “What you don’t know about Interstate 20 (I-20) MIGHT SHOCK YOU!” with a warning that all parents should watch the episode. They speak with women who were victims, a police officer in a very wealthy area of Birmingham, a trucker and others who are somehow involved with or affected by this serious, tragic, and downright scary issue. It does have breaks for commercials, so be sure to watch it all to catch the end–and please share.
Here are several links, including the one mentioned in the video, that you can go to for more information and to find out how to help save girls and women that are in these situations: