Meghan Tschanz

love shines on

So You Want to Stop Human Trafficking?

Cool! Me too. In fact, I have dedicated my life to seeing an end to modern-day slavery. First you should begin by watching this video from Exodus Cry.

Most people think that slavery no longer exists, abolished in the 1860s with the 13th amendment in the United States. At least that is what I used to think, at least until I saw with my own two eyes that this is not the case.

This is a guide to educate you on the truth of modern-day slavery. I have pulled resources from various organizations so you can get a broad and accurate view about the horror of human trafficking and what is being done to end it.

Contents

The Girl Who Changed My Life
Human Trafficking Stories
Human Trafficking in the United States
Human Trafficking Statistics
Human Trafficking Organizations
Books on Human Trafficking
Human Trafficking Movies
How You Can Stop Human Trafficking

The girl who changed my life

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I was 24 and living in Navi Mumbai, India for the month of February, working in the red-light district.

If you can imagine the poverty you saw in the movie Slumdog Millionaire, it was like that, but worse.

On the first day there we were were brought to a small room about the size of a two-car garage that served as a brothel, it was separated into 8 different segments separated by curtains, where men would have their way with the women they had purchased for the hour. While their mothers entertained their clients the children would crawl around the floor under the bed.

It was there, among the piles of burning trash and dying dogs, that I met a girl who lit my world on fire. Her name is Anala* and on February 5, 2013 she walked into the room, straight into my arms, and in so doing stole my heart.

She was being raised by the pimp who sold her mother, and because of a hearing problem was never taught to speak.

She was trapped in every sense of the word: trapped in the red-light district, trapped by her pimp, trapped by her inability to communicate with the outside world and all I could do while I was there was pray.

After I left I vowed to do everything in my power so that more stories like hers did not happen. She lit a fire in my heart, to be an advocate for these women, and for all girls and women who live in such oppression.

Human Trafficking Stories

So far I have traveled to over 35 countries meeting women along the way and telling their stories.

I wish I could tell them all in this space, but unfortunately there isn’t enough space. So below I have collected some of the most powerful stories that I’ve written and collected.

Anala’s Story- The story of a little girl who grew up under the care of a pimp in India.

Anala is the little girl who started it all. The one who lit a fire in my heart to see an end to human trafficking as we know it.

Sonya’s Story- The story of a woman who left human trafficking and began to rescue others.

Sonya is a woman who left the bars in the Philippines to pursue an education and has since rescued many more from the sex trade. Her story is one of my favorites because it shows the power of a redeemed heart, and that when one is rescued, she is compelled to rescue many more.

Her story is written in a series, read part one, part two, part three, and part four here.

Mon’s Story- The story of a woman who was murdered in the sex trade in Thailand.

Unfortunately, not all stories have happy endings.

Mon was my friend whom I spent time with in Thailand. She worked in the bars and had the sweetest disposition. She was murdered in April 2015. Read her story here.

Sally’s Story- The story of a brave woman leaving the bars in the Philippines.

Sally showed me the true meaning of courage when she left the bars and everything that she knew to begin a new life and to pursue an education. Read her story here.

God’s Provision- The story of how God provided a house for rescued women in the Philippines.

There are over 70 women who have been rescued from the sex trade in Manila. Wipe Every Tear rescues them and provides food, housing, and an education for women who want a better life. This is the story of how God provided another house for the women who needed a home.

Rosa’s Story- Not a story about human trafficking, but the powerful story of a woman widowed in Uganda.

Human trafficking is something that I am enormously passionate about seeing the end to, but those aren’t the only stories of women living in oppression. There are stories of marginalized women worldwide that are equally important. Read one of the stories here. 

Know a powerful story of redemption in the midst of human trafficking? Let me know in the comments below and I would love to share it.

Human Trafficking in the United States

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Many people think that sex trafficking only happens abroad, in poverty or in areas of moral degradation. But the truth is sex trafficking happens here, in the United States, every single day.

I know it because I have seen it. I have held the hands and wiped the tears of the victims of sex trafficking as they told their story, which usually goes something like this:

She grew up in the foster care system or an abusive household. As a result, she runs away between the ages of 11 and 14 only to be picked up by a pimp posing to love her within the first 48 hours.

Because she never really knew love, this man’s gifts and physical intimacy make her think she has found love. She dives in head first, not knowing she is actually his prey.

Over the span of the relationship he pushes her further and further to do things she doesn’t feel comfortable with. He introduces her to drugs, and then violence. He begins to isolate her from everyone that she knows, and takes her forms of identification.

Soon this girl is being forced to have sex with other men for money. By this time, she knows she is being abused, but she has nowhere else to go.

The pimp then moves her to a new location where he thinks he can market her services: massage parlors, online escort services, strip clubs, and truck stops, etc. He keeps her earnings just in case she ever has any thoughts of leaving.

I have heard this story many times, and each time it breaks my heart all over again.

It is time that stories of sex trafficking in the United States stop. Visit the link below to see how you can help and make sure sex trafficking ends for good.

Human Trafficking Statistics

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*Images from Not For Sale Statistics from Polaris Project

Human Trafficking Organizations

The good news is there are major organizations world-wide working to end human trafficking as we know it. Below are a list of organizations making big strides in the eradication of the modern-day slave trade.

Wipe Every Tear– an organization that I have partnered with for the past two years. They take girls out of the bars in the Philippines and put them through college.

Polaris Project–  named after the North Star that guided slaves to freedom in the U.S., disrupts the conditions that allow human trafficking to thrive in our society.

A21 Project– a non-profit organization who believes that together, we can end human trafficking through prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnership.

Not For Sale– a campaign that provides survivors and at-risk communities in five countries with safety and stability, education, and economic opportunities.

International Justice Mission– a global organization that protects the poor from violence in the developing world.

Rahab’s Rope– gives hope and opportunity to women and girls that are at risk or have been forced into the commercial sex trade of India

Out of Darkness– Our mission is to reach, rescue and restore all victims of commercial sexual exploitation, that the glory of God may be known.

Books on Human Trafficking

These books are capable of opening your eyes to the horrors of human trafficking while inspiring you to get involved.

Not for Sale–  goes into detail on the various forms of modern slavery world-wide. It’s a great resource for those who want to learn about human trafficking beyond the sex trade.

Half the Sky–  changed my life. It was this very book that I read about the oppression of women world-wide while seeing it directly in front of my eyes on the World Race. It led me to believe I could do something about the pain I saw.

The Road of Lost Innocence– tells the true story of a young girl sold into the sex trade in Southeast Asia.

Girls Like Us– tells the true story of a young woman who escaped the commercial sex trade and founded GEMS.

Sold– a novel about a Nepali young girl sold into prostitution in India by her step-father, now also a full-length film.

Human Trafficking Movies

There are some really good documentaries out there that show what life in the sex trade is like. Please watch them and educate yourself.

Nefarious–  is the first of three hard-hitting, feature-length documentaries that expose the disturbing trends of modern sex slavery and offer ways to get involved.

Half the Sky– basically it is the book, in documentary form.

Born into Brothel’s: Calcutta’s Red Light District Kids– no other documentary so succinctly sums up my time spent serving in the Red-light districts of India. It’s a tear-jerker and free to watch on YouTube.

It’s a Girl– every year in India and China, millions of babies are killed, neglected or abandoned simply because they are girls. This documentary explores why.

Trading Women– enters the worlds of brothel owners, trafficked girls, voluntary sex workers, corrupt police and anxious politicians.

How you can stop Human Trafficking.

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I bring up slavery every chance I get. People invite me to dinner and I spend the whole time talking about the women and children I met around the world. Because the truth is they are in bondage and they matter.

Most people I tell agree that it is horrible but do nothing because they believe they can’t stop it, but that is where they are wrong.

Imagine if Martin Luther King Jr. believed that there was nothing he could do, so he settled for racism. What if the Mother Theresa thought there was too many people living in poverty, so she decided to look the other way.

“We are too young to realize that certain things are impossible… So we will do them anyway,” Wilberforce (the man who abolished the trans-atlantic slave trade) said that and proved that nothing is impossible.

That’s the attitude that we have got to have. You tell me I can’t make a difference and I say watch me.

I am not saying it will be easy, I have already found that it is not.There is still a lot that I have to learn and I am frequently humbled.

Some days I want to give up, many people don’t seem to care that much.

The pimp is making money off of the little girl who is raped everyday, and she is crying out for help. And maybe if you can’t hear her, you can hear me.

Slavery is not some distant thing that doesn’t happen anymore, it is happening right in front of my eyes.  And if you are reading this it means that it is happening right in front of your eyes too. Please don’t read this and think there is nothing you can do – you have a voice, so say something.

Here are some ways to tangibly get involved:

  1. Pray- Pray as you have never prayed before that God brings redemption to the stories of objectification, abuse, and manipulation. That people will be fulfilled by God and stop searching for fulfillment in lust.
  2. Go- Maybe you have read all of this and you are still wanting to know more. Well there is no better way than to experience it first-hand. Luckily, I work for a missions organization and can take you. Email me if you are interested.
  3. Send notes- It is the call on my life to see women step into their full potential in Christ. As part of that I get the opportunity to disciple women who have left the sex trade in Thailand and the Philippines. I go back often and bring encouragement and love to these women, please send them your prayers and your love in a handwritten card so they may know they are not alone. Email me if you are interested.
  4. Donate- And if you feel lead you may also donate to ANY of the organization listed above. They are all making great strides to see the end of human trafficking.
  5. Use your voice- Whatever you do, don’t let these stories go unheard. Tell everyone, your friend, your grandma, that man on the bus. Knowledge is power.

The stories above are not just another statistic. They are people who are loved and cared about and deserve a chance at freedom.

Share this article. Get involved with organizations that fight this injustice. Together, we can end this kind of violence against people.

Comment below to let me know what difference you are making in the fight against human trafficking.

“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know” -Wilberforce

 

About Meghan Tschanz

I believe in love, empowerment. and adventure. The kind of love that believes in the face of adversity, the empowerment that allows people to step into their destiny, and the kind of adventure that leaves your heart pounding in your chest. I write because I want to remind us all that there is so much more to life.

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2 Replies

  1. Wow! I’m aware sex slavery exists in the US and all around the world. But as I’m reading your story, I’m picturing the faces of these women and I’m getting emotional at the thought of any woman or girl having this lifestyle forced upon them. Great job!

    1. Thanks for the read and for caring!

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