National Human Trafficking Awareness Day is observed annually on January 11. Author Craig Parshall writes about this important topic in his books, and fights them head-on in his work as an attorney. See the infographic at the end of the post for 10 facts you need to know about child sex trafficking and what you can do to fight this evil.
by Craig Parshall, author of the Trevor Black Series
Imagine for a moment that there is a pretty, but troubled, fifteen-year-old girl in your neighborhood. Let’s call her Jade. After yet another argument with her mom, Jade stomps out of the house with an overnight bag and some cash in her pocket, just enough to buy a one-way bus ticket. Jade has a friend in another town, and she is thinking that, while traveling there, she might follow up with the person from the online chat room who liked her picture on Instagram and connected with her about a professional “modeling” opportunity.
Tragically, once Jade is on the street, she will be easy prey for child sex-trafficking rings and then, unless she is found and rescued soon, the clock will start ticking on Jade’s stunningly shortened life expectancy.
In my Trevor Black fiction series, I have been creating a picture of spiritual warfare, warts and all, and trying to stay ahead of the curve in exposing where and how current attacks are taking place. In my next novel, The Empowered, I expose a particularly deadly trio: an occult form of “spirituality” with a dangerous history; the dark, criminal, back alley of the Internet known as the “dark web”; and the rising problem of child exploitation and sex trafficking. In real life, each of these poses a formidable threat to our families. But the use of children as chattel in the brutal sex-trafficking trade is an especially heinous problem and is part of a fast-growing criminal racket that is now a billion-dollar industry.
In Isaiah 58:6 the people of God are challenged to loose the bonds of wickedness around us and to help those who are oppressed to gain freedom. I can think of no greater application of this command today than for us to pray and act toward the eradication of the perverse sex-trafficking enterprise and to rescue those who are caught in its ugly grip. If you couple this challenge with the apostle Paul’s call in Ephesians for us to expose the deeds of darkness, then you can see what fueled my engine while writing The Empowered.
During my forty-year career as a trial lawyer and appellate advocate, I have had cases of child endangerment that have taken me from trial courts to state supreme courts and to a petition before the U.S. Supreme Court. While working with the American Center for Law and Justice, I was honored to help frame arguments before the Georgia Supreme Court that recently resulted in that court upholding a law that will make it tougher for child predators to use the Internet to entice our youth.
Congress is considering a number of anti-human-trafficking bills to stop this travesty against children. Washington needs to hear our voices of support. But this battle is not limited to the law. It also requires our taking seriously what Scripture teaches about cherishing and protecting children. Statistics show that the most likely way to rescue those children at risk is for average citizens like you and me to understand the problem of child trafficking and then to report it to law enforcement when we see it.
Given the corruption of our current culture, there is a need to be realistic about evil, and yes, to have the courage to imagine the worst. But as followers of Christ, we have an even more important calling: to rely on His Spirit; to believe in His power to use us in rescuing the oppressed; and to work toward what is best for our children, our families, and our communities.
The Empowered by Craig Parshall
Just when a mysterious death in Washington, DC, appears to have voodoo connections rooted in New Orleans, Trevor Black also receives an invitation to speak at the national ABA convention in the city.
He knows he’ll be in enemy territory, both as a disbarred attorney and as a follower of Jesus, but he determines to travel there and confront the supernatural element. Right after a grisly murder in his hotel room puts him on the suspect list, his daughter disappears, leaving a note that suggests a connection to the local cult religion. Now Trevor must not only crack the case but try to protect Heather from forces of darkness clutching at her soul as well. And just as he discovers that his ability to sniff out the supernatural has its limitations, Trevor learns that this web of evil extends far beyond isolated murders, enslaving scores of innocent children, with its head perhaps linked to the highest seats of power.