Public Safety Canada defines human trafficking as "the recruitment, transportation, harbouring and/or exercising control, direction, or influence over the movements of a person in order to exploit that person, typically through sexual exploitation or forced labour. It is often described as a modern form of slavery."
The exploitation of young women and girls has become an issue of growing concern in Canada. We might have deceived ourselves into, at worst, considering human trafficking as something that happens “over there”. At best, we might think that it is something that happens here in Canada, but not in our neighbourhoods, our schools, our churches.
Vulnerability is not confined to “over there” or in everyone else’s backyard but ours. Vulnerability is sometimes obvious, but often is not. And sexual predators can sniff out vulnerability as easily as a shark smells blood in the water.
But don’t just take our word for it—read one Canadian woman’s experiences (Warning: content is graphic).
Could you identify those who might be vulnerable within your sphere of influence? Would you know what to do if you thought that someone you know might be on the point of being lured into such a situation? The trauma to the victim and to the victim’s family caused by sexual exploitation is life-altering. Would you know how to help a survivor? Do you know what resources are available to those who escape to rebuild their lives?
FAIR partners with BridgeNorth, a survivor-led charity dedicated to helping other survivors of sexual exploitation to rebuild their lives. As well it offers resources and training for communities and churches.
Yes, sexual exploitation is life-altering. But even more so is a life-altering encounter with Jesus Christ. And facilitating that encounter is one of BridgeNorth’s key components. You can get more information about BridgeNorth on their website, and learn more about FAIR’s partnership with BridgeNorth on FAIR’s website. Also, we encourage you to find out how you can become involved with FAIR’s current mini-appeal, Unchained, on behalf of BridgeNorth.