What does R. Kelly Have to do with Human Trafficking?
In recent news, R&B singer R. Kelly has been implicated in a human trafficking scandal. Apparently the R&B singer would allure women with the hopes of a lavish lifestyle and fame. Only to find out, that no. The “babies” as they are called, (they have to call him daddy) are punished physically and verbally. It was reported, purportedly that Kelly held one of the “babies” against a tree and slapped her outside of a Subway sandwich shop in spring 2013 because she had been too friendly with the male cashier there. And that brings us to human trafficking.
In the State of Indiana, particularly in the well to do suburbs of Carmel, Fishers and Westfield, the Indiana a thriving child sex trade exists. Recently, a group of girls were rescued in a hotel in the Castleton area of Indianapolis. The Indianapolis Recorder Newspaper recently reported that former lndiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller, there were at least 178 known cases of human trafficking in Indiana in 2016. Statistically, 94 percent of victims are female, 43 percent are people of color and 29 percent are age 15 or younger. Sounds like the perfect type of target for people like R. Kelly.
What’s most troubling is in states like Indiana where the age of consent is only 16, the ability to catch the predators, and that is what they are, predators, becomes that much more difficult. Research has found that in states with serious meth and heroin problems, parents are readily selling their children for the next high,
What is Human Trafficking?
Human trafficking has many forms, the terms are most commonly used when humans are used for forced labor. The term is also used in the cases of sexual slavery, or commercial sexual exploitation. The most When sex is involved, that form of human trafficking is often also known as white slavery
The story of the Blue Heart and Human Trafficking.
Human trafficking around the world is not all about sex. In many parts of the world, including the United States, slavery is still in existence in one form or another. Thankfully, the United Nations is extremely committed to eliminating human trafficking of all forms. Enter the Blue Heart Campaign.
The Blue Heart represents the sadness of those who are trafficked, robbed of their spirit, and their very being. This is a reminder or the cold-hardheartedness of those who buy and sell fellow human beings. The blue UN color also demonstrates the commitment of the United Nations to combating this crime against human dignity.
Human trafficking in Indianapolis or Marion County as a whole has some very alarming statistics. Human trafficking even in smaller cities, like Carmel, Indiana. There was a story of a girl being forced into prostitution by having pictures posted on the internet. Restored Inc. a small non-profit in Indianapolis with the mission providing recovery to victims of human trafficking, on their website gives the following statistics:
- 9 million human trafficking victims worldwide
- The average age is 13 years old
- 85% have been in the child welfare system
- Sex (human) trafficking is a150 billion dollar industry
This is how we can stop human trafficking.
If you believe that someone may be a victim of this heinous act, please get in touch with the human trafficking hotline. The number for the hotline in Indianapolis, Indiana is: 1-888-373-7888. The Indiana Hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in more than 200 languages. Calls for assistance are answered live by highly trained Anti-Trafficking Hotline Advocates. This is a great opportunity for the church social media resources to be used to catch, prevent and save victims. That in itself should be a reason if any for the CHURCH TO STEP THEIR GAME UP AND GET ACTIVE!!!
Some of the major signs of human trafficking are:
- Chronic runaway
- Calls boyfriend “daddy”
- Travels with older male (is not guardian)
- Specially marked tattoos; “branding”
- Unexplained and sudden changes in attire or material possessions
- Makes reference to frequent travel to other cities
- Substance abuse
- Signs of trauma (physical and other)
- Multiple delinquent charges
Additional Resources on Human Trafficking
A few of the books that I’ve found to be helpful to understand the issue of human trafficking are:
- A Companion Reader on Violence Against Women
- Stolen: The True Story of a Sex Trafficking Survivor
- The White Umbrella: Walking with Survivors of Sex Trafficking
There are people that need our help. We need to end human trafficking. NOW.