A “We Care About Sex Trafficking” Initiative Parable (By Anonymous Guest Writer)

Pastor: We’re holding this meeting today to talk about ways that we as a community of believers are going to get involved and act as Jesus would to the world of sex trafficking.

Member #1: That’s great—I’ve been hoping we could get involved! Our community has been ripped apart by sexual abuse. It even occurs in our churches, Christian schools, mission programs, Christian universities, Christian camps, youth groups, etc. I have so many friends and neighbors whose lives have been shattered, and they’ve never encountered a church community willing to come alongside them, help them heal, and stand for justice in their oppression.

Member #2: Yes! There are actually some even in our very own church who are suffering the effects of abuse. They feel alone, unheard, and afraid to speak.

Elder: Wait! I think you’re misunderstanding. We want to help those who have no resources – young women and children in foreign lands whose lives have been devastated by poverty and abuse. We want to raise money to send to them.

Member #1 : This may seem unrelated, but since we’re talking about this, shouldn’t we consider how our own pastors, elders, and lay counselors address abuse issues? Isn’t it odd that we’re ready and willing to stand with strangers, but in our own community we’re more comfortable supporting some of the abusers?

I mean, I know we don’t officially support abusers. We preach against abuse and we host seminars.  But when it comes to actually being involved with individual families, we just don’t want to get involved. Should we look at modifying that?

Member #2: And are you all aware of the abuses many of our own members are still fighting to recover from? Many were victimized by those who make no claim to Christianity, but others accuse pastors and religious leaders. Others by men in our own church.

What should we do in those situations? We can’t set up a program for overseas victims but ignore our own–or could we?

Pastor: You don’t seem to understand. Some of the offenders here are our personal friends. Supporting those abusers isn’t the same as supporting abuse. We are just showing our loyalty to our personal friends. We’re also demonstrating hearts of forgiveness and our own humility as we might be the ones accused next.

So, are we all in favor of putting together this program for foreign abuse victims and survivors? There could be all sorts of benefits to pursuing this. Helping trafficking victims is a hot topic right now, and getting involved would place us on the cutting edge of creative church ministry. Our wives and others could benefit from developing a business that’s beneficial to all. Our families can have a cultural experience by traveling to some of the countries that struggle with these issues.

Elder #2: We could set up an international business that would provide a way for trafficking survivors to sell some of their arts and crafts. Our church community here would benefit from the beautiful artwork. Our church would be setting the precedent for creative assistance. We’d be an example to the other churches and pave the way for others to follow in our footsteps.

Member #2: I want to be involved in these international ministries. How about if we invite those in our community who’ve been victimized in similar ways to be a part of this. We could learn from their experiences so that we avoid inadvertently causing more harm through our ignorance.

Pastor (chuckling benevolently): No, no. You’re misunderstanding. This meeting is about how to help those who are far away. Those who’ve been victimized here aren’t our concern. It would be gossip to intervene in abuse that is within our immediate community. The Bible says not to cause division in the body of Christ. The offenders you mention are part of our local body. We need to forgive them and remember that we’re just as great sinners as they are. We need to ensure that those they victimized are reconciled to them, that they’re living out forgiveness, and that they avoid gossiping about their abuse.

Member #1: But, how do we stop the pattern of abuse that is continuing here? Shouldn’t we do something?

Elder: Yes! You can urge the abuse survivors to trust that God has a purpose for their experiences. He never wastes suffering. You can encourage them to work through their bitterness. We have a class they can sign up for where they’ll be held accountable for their reactions.

Pastor: Yes, the survivors in our community simply won’t be satisfied, no matter what response they’re given. They love their roles as perpetual victims. They’re bitter and just won’t let it go. They’re simply choosing not to trust us to know better than they do and tell them how they should be reacting. Besides, they’re accusing well-respected leaders within our community. We need to stand with these leaders even when we disagree with them. They have good intentions and just messed up.

Member #2: But how can we truly help those who have been victimized in foreign lands when survivors within our own community are shunned?

Pastor: Oh, they aren’t shunned. They’re welcome. They just need to forgive and let go of their bitterness, and then they can join us. You know that people like “that” are exhausting to the church, right? We give and give to them and it is never enough. They want us to actually stand WITH them against abuse. They actually want us to speak up about the wolves in our midst that devour our sheep.

Elder: You have to understand that the local abuse survivors often have mental health diagnoses. They are messy and they don’t trust easily. We really don’t have time for that. So, all in favor of pouring our resources into this new proposal?

A majority vote in the affirmative.

A few days later, another member approaches the pastor:

Member #3: Pastor, I heard all that was discussed at the meeting. I realize you aren’t really interested in helping abuse survivors in our community, but I keep hearing of more and more situations where some of the pastors and elders here at our church are actually supporting abusers. Doesn’t that concern you?

Pastor: Well, you have to understand that we’re all free to make our own decisions before God. None of us leaders are really accountable to any of the other leaders because we all trust each other. Besides, you know that most victims exaggerate about their abuse, right? I mean, when they’re in the middle of it, they say very little. Then, when they start to find some safety, they suddenly start sharing details of abuse that just aren’t believable. Also, even when there is abuse, pastors can’t take sides. Just remember that God sees the good deeds we’re doing overseas. You’d do well to take note of that. You’re so focused on the things within our own community. If you won’t be so self-focused, you’ll find that you’ll be much more content.

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2 years ago

also “oh, that doesn’t happen here… we are a safe church…”

Trish Malcomess
2 years ago

All I can say is Urrgg! That is so messed up. Well written!! You have completely nailed it with the issue of abuse and lack of support for survivors not only within the church but also within contemporary culture itself. It always seems easier to address this issue when it is far away, not at home. When it happens to someone else in a foreign community, not a family member. When the perpetrator is a stranger, not your brother, husband or pastor. Oh yes, and because we are good and follow Jesus, we can give charitable support to victims in third world countries while ignoring our brothers and sisters that are lying in the aisles next to us bleeding from an artery.

Our culture within the church and without, continues to be blind to the survivors around them. Continues to silence them with victim blaming for fear of being exposed or addressing sexual exploitation within their own walls.

Victim blaming is the biggest reason survivors do not speak out. The psychology behind victim blaming?

“If this could happen to them, it could happen to me. Therefore she must have done something wrong”

2 years ago

Every single word of that…horrifyingly accurate.

It feels so desperate…but how do we get beyond it when they don’t want to see or hear?

Many thanks to the author. And to you, Rebecca, for sharing it.

Hater of Traffickers and Rapist-Johns
Hater of Traffickers and Rapist-Johns
2 years ago

Sex trafficking and human trafficking happens here, too. People don’t want to know about it happening in their community because is shakes their warm fuzzies and feelings of safety and pride in their community when confronted as to the evil that resides there, too.

I do believe it has a lot to do with victim-blaming. It’s too close for comfort and too threatening for people to see it happening in their hometown, to people similar to them. Because if it happens in your own community, then it can be you who is the next victim, or your daughter, or niece, or sister, etc.

Makes me think about the denial of sex abuse in the church. People were all, ‘well that’s the Catholics, the catholic priests’ and thinking they were insulated from such. But evil is everywhere.

I wonder also if it is tied to the fact that if they had to know about victims and overwhelming needs in their own communities, then they’d have a greater feeling of burden to do something about it. It’s much easier to participate in once a year fundraising for another country’s charity or outreach.

Perhaps it is also that people don’t want to have to confront who among them is a perpetrator or rapist-john. Especially with sex trafficking. People want to hate on the prostituted and see them as fundamentally different than themselves, choosing it, liking it, etc. People also don’t want to know if their husband is a john, and if so, than which of the prostituted women and/or girls did he pay to rape?

All that being said, there is tremendous need in other countries. There are entitlements (things like Food Stamps for the poor or disabled) here in the U.S. that don’t exist in other countries. And so very much of sex trafficking relies on poverty, so when Food Stamps don’t exist in some other countries and a girl or woman is starving to death, along comes a rapist-john to exploit her hunger and prey upon her. Or worse yet, a pornographer rapist-john comes along and turns her rape into porn for the world over to see and relive (all to their evil masturbatory depraved delight).

Pastors, cops, judges, neighbors, boys, so many people create greater demands for greater, more depraved porn. With internet porn, our world is full of trafficking. Practically every male is a rapist-john porn viewer, so with demand growing, more and more women and girls will be turned into products for their depraved, evil, debased rapist-john demands. And yes, if you are a viewer of porn, you are a john. It doesn’t matter if you are not the actual actor in the filmed rape, because playing it on your device, masturbating to it, is just as bad and is the very demand that pushes for more and more girls and women to be raped on tape.

If you are in a room with 100 men, I’d bet that something like 80-95 of them are rapist-john porn viewers and there is your demand, which traffickers cater to. End the demand and trafficking ends. How many people’s husbands would be included in the demand?

Hater of Traffickers and Rapist-Johns
Hater of Traffickers and Rapist-Johns
2 years ago

And I also don’t like the use of the word, “trafficking”. Call it what it is — SLAVERY. It’s modern-day slavery. Rapist johns look over the prostituted women slaves and select their purchase and pay to do horrific things to her that will forever alter her, horrify her, debase her, traumatize her, humiliate her, and make her want to die. And she doesn’t get a choice because she is owned property. The rapist johns pay money for a woman or girl to be unable to say no or resist or run away or negotiate or anything other than take it.

Sometimes I wonder if the use of the word “trafficking” is associated too neutrally in people’s brains. One might think ‘drug trafficking’ and think it’s about moving product and not conjure up the necessary horrific images and realities that sex trafficking truly is. Human trafficking is modern day slavery. Sex trafficking is an even more evil, soul-destroying, life-destroying, injurious, debasing, sadistic, humiliating, depraved slavery.

I believe pimps and johns alike should be imprisoned for life or shot dead. But it would take out practically all the male population and men cling to their porn and their paid rape as though it is life itself, so given the reality that men run this world and have basically all the power and resources, there will not be any real reform, much less any life imprisonment or executions taking place.

It may sound extreme but sex trafficking is murder. It murders the enslaved women and girls, not once, but multiple times a day. I don’t know of any prostituted person who was trafficked who wasn’t destroyed by it.

People who are unfamiliar with the horrors want to stay that way, as willful ignorance protects them from the horrors. Perhaps it is because people know it’ll never be changed. It’s never going to go away. Men will not give up their porn, their paid rape. It’s like trying to split atoms without any tools or equipment.

At least you talk about it Rebecca! And that’s great, because it’s more than others are willing to do.

And in Germany now, rapist-johns can now sue the prostituted, raped slaves for “incomplete service” if they don’t feel like they got enough raping, depravity, violence, and debasement for their money’s worth. It’s accusing a slave of theft. And it’s all about a rapist-johns sense of satisfaction.

I hope Jesus comes back and ends this horrible world very, very soon.

Appreciation to you, Rebecca!

Also, as for the scope, there are mothers of sons reading this and they could have frank conversations with their sons explaining that porn is not teaching them about sex, but rather making them into rapist-johns who are part of the problem — the demand — and that no girl or woman is going to want them to do that nasty, body-harming, humiliating, horrific stuff to them. And their sexuality will forever be tainted. Even if they quit the porn someday, their brains will not forget it all, those images are in there. So, even if they want to be God-fearing and good husbands in the future, they’ll have porn brains, porn tastes, porn ‘moves’, and porn expectations.

Maybe moms of sons don’t want to see their sons as rapist-johns, but if they are consuming porn, they are indeed rapist-johns. They are the demand. And they should go through all the myths, all the lies that porn tells them about women, about their ‘manly’ sexuality, about the woman’s supposed ‘liking it’ and ‘wanting it’ and they should show all the violence, abuse, coercion, and exploitation that goes on behind the scenes. They should explain it’s misogyny. It’s rape. It’s debasing and humiliating vulnerable women for sport.

I don’t know that moms are alert to this, let alone actively tackling it with their sons. Lots of parents don’t even want to have the ‘sex talk’ with their kids. But it’s so important. Internet porn has changed everything. Never before has so much porn been so readily, immediately, widely, and freely available. It’s a 95 billion dollar industry. The owner of Pornhub is estimated to rake in a million dollars a day. If men’s depraved demand wasn’t there, there’d be no porn industry.

Another person talked about how porn was causing erectile dysfunction in young men, where guys in their early 20s were going to the doctor to seek treatment for ED. And it seems that men’s genitals are about the only thing that gets them to rethink their use of porn, which is saying a lot. How little are girls and women worth when the only thing that gets men to possibly reconsider their consumption of porn is that it causes ED?! And even that doesn’t keep them from porn, they just go to the doctor and start pharmaceutically treating the ED!

Hater of Traffickers and Rapist-Johns
Hater of Traffickers and Rapist-Johns
2 years ago

Hopefully, Rebecca doesn’t mind me commenting with such long comments, but I hope others read and are better informed. And I don’t have all the answers or know very much, but I know some things, which I offer.

Mothers of daughters need to be having talks about porn, too. Because there are lots of girls who will go on to have porn-addled boyfriends and then said porn-addled boyfriends will have these atrocious expectations and same thing with husbands, and they ought to know where it is coming from and to be able to spot a porn-using man, so as to stay away from the rapist-john.

There is a huge pressure and massive propaganda and all sorts of lies given to girls and women about how ‘owning their sexuality’ means being pornified. The ‘sexual liberation’ is for men, pervert men, not women. Being sexually attractive and dressing to be considered ‘hot’ is put on women and girls by all sorts of industries. But girls and women should step back and reflect and consider, if it was truly ’empowering’ then men would be doing it. And the threat of revenge porn (badly named but people know what is being talked about) wouldn’t hold any weight if ‘sexual liberation’ was truly ’empowering’.

I worry so much about the girls being brought up in the church, being raised in God-fearing homes, who are unlikely to know about so many things, nor will they be trained to be media-savvy, or educated about all sorts of things. And practically any guy is a rapist-john pervert, be it via porn-consumption alone, or more. And it is a serious thing. And if means not ever dating or marrying, then so be it. Better that than to be with any porn-sick pervert rapist-john, which is something like 85% to 95% of men these days.

Hater of Traffickers and Rapist-Johns
Hater of Traffickers and Rapist-Johns
2 years ago
Reply to  Rebecca Davis

There seems to be two main camps – the protect them, keep them ‘innocent’ (ignorant and clueless) camp and the other camp is to expose them to such things. I prefer the second. Better to know things and then better equipped to deal with such than to be young and dumb, and way more naïve than others.

The overprotective parents, which I see a lot in churches, with conservatives tending toward overprotection (and I was raised this way) cripple their children with making them more young, dumb, and naïve than the next which screams ‘ideal prey’ to predators. They have no idea what is out there lurking, nor do they recognize signs or red flags as such has not been taught and instead they’ve been overly controlled.

I’d have daily talks with kids, be it wife-beating, manipulators, con artists, pimps/pornography, rape culture, misogyny, narcissism, cluster Bs, abusers, perverts, perps, all sorts of criminals, scams, and whatnot else. Why not take the time each day as you drive the kids home from school to tackle topics. Have them being the best educated, most broadly informed children their age. And start young, too!

I don’t know why anyone romanticizes the ‘innocence’ of young childhood. That screams vulnerability and dependency and DANGER, not wistful anything. A parent only gets 18 years before the kid is a legal adult. A parent is going up against all the depravity of the world. I’d lecture about porn, rape, sexual harassment, woman abuse, and so much more on the regular, if I had kids.

People think more about stranger danger like some man driving up in a van and snatching their child. But the real danger is otherwise.

Pimps have all day to dream up new schemes and ways to lure, trick, and trap girls into becoming prostituted. All day. Every day. And same thing with pornographers. And girls who are prostituted represent at least a quarter of a million dollars to pimps. And girls and women represent endless free labor, children/heirs, and sex on demand to wife abusers. And all sorts of other things. Surrogacy is tens of thousands of dollars (if not more) and yet if a wife-abuser wants a child he can forgo the tens of thousands of dollars and instead trick some girl or woman into believing he loves her and entraps her by marrying her and pressures pregnancy right away and he has a slave for life (to a variable extent) and she is tied to this creep predator for the rest of her life via that child.

Start young. Lecture and have open discussions. Educate yourselves as parents. Research how pimps lure their prey. Learn how wife-abusers sucker, deceive, and entrap their prey. Learn the red flags yourself. Know and thoroughly address grooming and dating violence and a host of things.

Same goes for if raising a boy. Better lecture on the regular about how and why all the messaging the boy is receiving from the culture at large is wrong, harmful, and will make him into a predatory misogynist. Talk extensively about pornography and why it’s not sex education or innocent, but rather your son is becoming part of the demand and participating in being a rapist-john. Talk about how to treat girls and eventually women. Talk about how masculinity is a false construct and ‘being a manly man’ usually means being a woman-hating criminal, creep, abuser, and predator and how that is bad.

Make sure you’re not raising a rapist-john. Make sure your daughter can always talk openly with you about whatever is going on and make sure not to punish your kids for revealing things otherwise they’ll hide the true realities of their lives. Make sure you realize that even though you may control their cell phones and internet usage, doesn’t mean their friends and others don’t have cell phones and internet.

There’s nothing wistfully romantic or nostalgic about ignorance (the ‘innocence’ of childhood) but rather parents who control and overprotect/overshelter their kids actually handicap them and make them into even choicier prey. It’s like signaling to the vultures and predators of society – ‘here’s an especially naïve one!’

And parents who are squeamish about talking about sex with their children (and start YOUNG as many boys have already viewed porn prior to turning 10), who do you want to inform your children about sex and sexuality? Pornographers? Their porn-addled peers? Or a pimp? A violent, controlling, abusive boyfriend? Address sexting, not just say, ‘don’t do it!’ but rather, ‘here’s why you don’t want to do that and why it inevitably will be used to destroy your life’.

If you don’t know about these things, you should educate yourself extensively prior to becoming parents. If you’re already parents, don’t stick your heads in the sand. Because you discomfort in researching such things, educating first yourself and then your child and thereby arming them with knowledge, will cripple and harm your kids.

Teach them to trust nobody. And especially teach girls, from very early on, to not trust boys or men. There is so much training as to how romantic their lives will be, Disney movies are atrocious, and girls will be thinking about marriage and family and wedding bells, meanwhile boys are thinking what they can get the sex object to do, whether they can capture it on their cell phone and share with all their friends and even post on the internet, to brag about what a$$hat misogynists they are, how predatory and ‘manly’ they are, etc.

Teach them bodily autonomy every step of their life. NOBODY gets to touch them without their permission. No hugs or anything for anyone they don’t want to hug. I don’t care if Uncle Joe went out and bought them a pony, no hug whatsoever is needed.

Teach kids. Otherwise you cripple them in ignorance and that increased vulnerability is sensed by predators, which makes them all the more greater targets. There is nothing wistful or nostalgic about that and the world is only growing more and more evil. Better start teaching kids when they are learning their shapes and colors. Start early.

And if you think, ‘well, that’ll traumatize them!’ just think of the alternative. What happens when they are truly victimized by some evil predatory perp? How traumatized will they be then? And they’ll wonder, ‘why didn’t my parents tell me about such things?’

Given the stats, every parent ought to be talking on an extremely regular basis about woman abuse, ‘domestic violence’ (sanitized, gender neutral term for wife-beating), and how most men view them in this misogyny saturated world. Talk about it for at least 10 years or more. Make sure your kids are informed! Role playing is incredibly useful, too, because it’s one thing to be informed, but it’s another to practice skills of self-defense, of verbal self-defense and self-protective skills such as establishing boundaries and fighting to the death to defend and enforce said boundaries.

No child should be kept in a state of innocence. Heck when a fellow toddler at the playground takes their toy and whacks them or throws sand at them or bites them, start talking about the realities of this savage life and practicing and instilling skills of self-defense. Start at two and continue for the next 16 years (at minimum).

End of long comments from me.

Much love to you, too, Rebecca!

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