For you created her inmost being; you knit her together in her mother’s womb.I praise you because she is fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Her frame was not hidden from you when she was made in the secret place, when she was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw her unformed body; all the days ordained for her were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious are your thoughts, toward her, Oh God! How vast is the sum of them (Ps. 139:13-17).
When you take the words of Psalm 139 and simply change the pronouns, you see a glimpse of the profound love, care and design that God has for the individual young ladies caught up in human slavery. Every day countless thousands of women are trafficked for sex by shameless individuals and dark underground operations across the globe. Prostitution, paying for sex, pornography and the like are not victimless or harmless activities. These acts are an assault on the image and fingerprints of God found on every human soul. Women sold as slaves or forced to perform for the camera are caught in the brokenness of the world, robbed of their dignity as his special creation and treated as mere objects for another’s pleasure or prosperity.
Our society is just waking up to the fact that slavery still exists in the modern world and even right in our own backyard. As our nation is becoming more aware of the problem of human trafficking we must begin to take a hard look at how we view and treat people, specifically those in the commercial sex industry like prostitutes, strippers and porn stars. These men and women can often be working under another’s control, out of fear or coercion, intentionally addicted to drugs, and feel there is no way out. They have been labeled the worst of the worst and considered as trash and throw-aways. This is clearly not the way God feels about them.
As recently as 1991, a California community closed all rape cases that had been reported by a prostitute and marked them NHI “No Human Involved” (Linda Fairstein, 1993, Sexual Violence: Our War Against Rape, New York: William Morrow and Co.).
As we begin to further examine this epidemic we have discovered that:
“Ninety percent of prostituted women were controlled by a pimp while in prostitution. (Evelina Giobbe, 1987, WHISPER Oral History Project, Minneapolis, Minnesota).”
“The sex industry entrepreneur “turns out” a woman or girl by eradicating her identity, erasing her sense of self, especially any belief that she is entitled to dignity and bodily integrity… (Dorchen A. Leidholdt, 2003, Prostitution and Trafficking in Women: An Intimate Relationship. In M. Farley (Ed.), Prostitution, Trafficking and Traumatic Stress, New York: Routledge. http://www.prostitutionresearch.com/Leidholdt%20Prostitution%20and%20Trafficking%20in%20Women.pdf).” “
“The hold that pimps and the street culture have over prostituted youth is too powerful to be displaced by traditional social services or brief interventions. There is no curriculum that can provide an abused and frightened 14-year-old girl with the cognitive ability and refusal skills to outthink a 26-year old offering love, money, and to take care of her.” (Debra Boyer, 2008, Who Pays the Price? Assessment of Youth Involvement in Prostitution in Seattle, Seattle: Human Services Department.).
“Pimps assume psychological, biological, social, and economic control over the lives of the women they sell to johns through the use of chronic terror, cunning use of various aspects of captivity, and isolation from others who might offer support and validation. In addition they employ starvation, sleep deprivation, protein deprivation, conditioned physiologic hyperarousal, unexpected sexual violence, and learned helplessness.” (Harvey Schwartz, Jody Williams, & Melissa Farley, 2007, Pimp Subjugation of Women by Mind Control. In M. Farley (Ed.), Prostitution and Trafficking in Nevada: Making the Connections, San Francisco: Prostitution Research & Education).
Darkness has pressed in against these young girls. Being devoured by depravity and shame, these women need rescue and redemption. More importantly, I would like to suggest that God’s love and justice declares that they deserve it. His voice calls us to think differently about them and demands that we come to their defense. Jesus came to seek and save that which was lost; to restore the beauty he formed in them not so long ago.God beckons us to act on his behalf. Let us not turn a blind eye to one more woman. Join with the ranch in standing up to bring awareness to our communities and healing into the hearts of the exploited. Fight for their dignity and allow God to use you to help them live out the precious story he had planned for them all along.