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Sexual Assault vs. Sex Trafficking

Lantern Rescue / Lantern Rescue
The Truth Network Radio
August 21, 2021 12:00 pm

Sexual Assault vs. Sex Trafficking

Lantern Rescue / Lantern Rescue

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August 21, 2021 12:00 pm

Ren is joined again by two volunteers, Gabby and Whitney, to discuss the difference between sexual assault and sex trafficking, the power and necessity of sharing survivor testimonies, and what community members can do to combat the bystander effect.

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Previously on Lantern Rescue. Because we're from an older generation, our concern is that somebody's going to wipe our kid and that's going to be how they enter into this abuse and human trafficking and that's just not the way of the world anymore to some extent. I mean it does happen, it does occur, but there's this element of this online predator and nobody has to come in and jerk our kid out from our hands because they can get to them through the internet when you hand them a phone at eight years old and they build this manipulative relationship.

There's an open door policy you have to have with your children. Welcome to Lantern Rescue, a ministry program dedicated to bringing light into the darkness of human trafficking. It's time to light the way to freedom. This is Lantern Rescue. We tell the stories, we talk about rescues, and we empower you to do something about it.

William Wilberforce once said, let it not be said I was silent when they needed me. This is Lantern Rescue. How wonderful that you're joining us today on Lantern Rescue as we're doing sort of a follow-up show to the show that the last episode that we did where last week we talked about the event in Florida, how there was a family there that had seen what they thought might have been some grooming and what we wanted to talk about today or just share with our listeners is sort of what's the difference between sexual assault and sex trafficking and what are things that we can glean from that that will help us? And so, you know, Gabby, you have some stories along these lines that just show how prevalent this is. Hi.

Yeah, I do. Sexual assault and sexual abuse are found a lot more than many people think they are. It happens every day to a lot of people and knowing that it happens is important, but knowing the difference between actual sexual abuse and actual sexual trafficking is so important, and we'll talk more about that later in the show, but the two stories I kind of want to share to show some difference are ones that have come to me and have been close to my heart. The first is a family member of mine who had been sexually abused at a young age by another family member of mine, and it really impacted her for a long time, and it was something that just kind of happened in secret, and she never felt comfortable coming forward or telling anyone. It caused a lot of confusion and emotional trauma in her, and she had a long road to go down, but coming out of that, it's become part of her testimony, and she's able to help other people find healing and purpose and see that their futures are not significant to just the trauma that they've been through, but that they can find new things to go through, and another story that came to us as Village of Light is this girl. She was also sexually abused by her father at a very young age, but because there was drug use and substance abuse in the home, he ended up trafficking her to his friends and other people he knew for drugs, so that kind of abuse really progressed, and it was trafficking because he was not only exploiting and abusing her for his own gain, but to gain other things from other people, and she was able to go through the legal system and find justice for that, and now she has become part of our team to help find other people who have gone through things like that and help them also find purpose and realize their testimony and that they have a future in that, and seeing these girls be able to be able to talk about these things and be able to not just hide away from it or shy away from it, but really be able to embrace what they went through and to speak light into other people and into a future into something that is so dark and hurtful has been really beautiful for me to watch and be a part of. Yeah, I've seen that in my own experience when I do the boot camps with masculine journey because two of our leaders were sexually assaulted by neighbors that were in one by a relative who happened to be a neighbor, and this shame and all the things that led to were just unbelievable, but as these guys have shared these stories, it has led to the freedom of, I don't know, maybe a hundred men that I know of that have come forward to say, oh yeah, something like that happened to me, but I can never talk about it because for guys there's such a stigma there, but this thing is, sexual assault is really, really common, but understanding the difference is important, right Rin? Yeah, absolutely, and Gabby brought up a really excellent point and two really good stories to show the difference, and it's unfortunate that there's so many different types of sexual abuse that there's categories, like that in itself is disgusting, but what really separates sexual assault and sexual trafficking is that transactional nature where someone is exploiting another person for a profit, for a gain, whether it's directly for drugs, for money, for some other good or commodity, that transactional portion is what creates the trafficking side of things, and it's important to make that distinction because it helps the prosecutor, the judges, the police, the government give and allocate the right resources for that victim's recovery because while there will be a lot of similarities between how a sexual assault victim recovers, there's going to be some differences between that and between a sex trafficking victim and the different counseling that they need and the resources that are going to be beneficial to them, so it's not to diminish any type of sexual abuse because they're all horrific, it's just to give that specialized treatment on the end and to make sure that they're being prosecuted properly and they're going to face the correct charges and stuff isn't going to get thrown out because the charge is technically not correct.

Yeah, so you know Whitney is, you're listening, Whitney's another volunteer here with Lantern Rescue, can you give us your perspective on it? Absolutely, I mentioned before that I am a teacher and so I'm a high school teacher, so I enjoy engaging and getting to know all of my students and so a lot of them have come from very difficult paths and I do, I just want to share a couple of statistics really quickly because I think they're very important for us to understand and know and these are through the Advocacy Center. As of current, one in three girls are sexually abused before the age of 18, one in five boys are sexually abused before the age of 18 and there are more than 42 million survivors of sexual abuse in America right now, so what that says is you know we've got listeners chiming in right now or listening to this podcast that have experienced these things and I do find it very important to see the difference in the two because sometimes we view sexual abuse you know we don't understand it when it's happening to us as a victim but to understand the difference really like Ren said it matters later on when you get into the judicial system and and the legal side of it. I've had a student in my class that years back that was left at her drug dealer's house, not her drug dealer sorry, her mother's drug dealer's house when she was two years old as a payment for drugs and so because so many people are not aware of what human trafficking and sex trafficking embodies we wouldn't off gate think of that as a trafficking situation necessarily right you just kind of think of it as a bad parent but there's so much more to it and because there's that lack of understanding the difference between the two people know how to approach it and so that's I think really what our motivation for this podcast today is is to bring light to the difference so that that you do understand when you hear these stories and when you're you know listening to someone pour their heart out you know how to know how to direct them you know what avenue is going to be best for treating their situation and ensuring that the criminal in the situation is personally prosecuted to the extreme point of what you know what they've done and that's really I think that's the heart for all of us behind this is just ensuring that you know justice is served and we know that the Lord is the ultimate justice seeker right but what we can do here in our own power is important as well. Yeah and I really think sharing your own story if you have it both for the healing purpose of getting your own heart back but also to bring to light that other people can relate and begin to heal and I'm sure you've seen that as well right Gabby? Yes testimonies are such a passion of mine because though I know that God doesn't put us through these hard things and hurtful things he does bring so much purpose out of them and that's kind of his promise and fulfillment to us that no matter what is thrown out of it he can turn it into something else and it can be used for ministry and for good and that's kind of why I'm here I was also sexually abused when I was younger and that has just lit a path in my testimony to want to speak up for others and show them that there is no shame in talking about these things that the action is hurtful and it's hard and it's horrific but that standing up for it and advocating for yourself and for others is so important and that we shouldn't allow the shame that other people have tried to put on us through those acts to be the voice that speaks it should be the voice that we want to bring all of that to light and to truth and to be able to pursue better for other people. Oh wow and Lynn this is something that really has been on your heart as part of the reason you started Landon Rescue. Yeah absolutely and Gabby brings up some really excellent points and everyone is with sharing your testimony and sharing your conversations about sexual assault and sexual trafficking and the differences and I think we talked about this on the podcast before I'm a law student I'm currently interning with a prosecutor at a district attorney's office and there's a saying sometimes the victims don't want to be victims always and that's really true when people are talking about their testimonies they have to be ready to and they have to be to the point I never would want to force a victim of sexual assault or sexual trafficking to share when they're not ready to but one of the things that I think would be beneficial to change in society is stopping viewing these victims as victims and allowing them to take their voice back and to be seen as more of survivors than of victims of these things because I think it's that's what part of what makes it so difficult for the survivors to speak about what happened to them is they don't want to be viewed as damaged goods they don't they have the word victim almost gives a connotation of that they were they somehow did something that forced that to happen to them that they're and somehow at fault and that's not the case I know that before we got on here Robbie was talking about some people that he knows that have been victims of sexual abuse that aren't as willing to talk about it because of that stigma around there and it is very difficult topic to talk about yeah words have great power don't they and so when you just you know as you were talking about that Wren I was like yeah they are survivors and and I I think of this the courage of what survivors are able to share that brings the courage out in other people right oh absolutely it really when you when you share that it's possible to make it through situations like that and there is a future beyond that and that you can find a better life and that incident that thing that happened to you will not define you that's really empowering it's really life-altering to be able to feel that and then to share it with others and give them that power and strength to share their story and get these stories out here so that people are understanding what is what is sexual abuse period what is sex trafficking what is it what's the difference between them how can we get the victims the proper help that they need how can we prevent this from happening how can we talk to our children it's all tied in together these things are fueled by survivor stories and by the testimony of their lives oh yeah well we've got to go to a break which i know you'd be anxious like i am to hear what's coming on the other side of this so stay tuned we have so much more lantern rescue coming up stay tuned lantern rescue is a usa-based organization that conducts international rescue operations for people suffering from human trafficking lantern specializes in sending former u.s special operation law enforcement and intelligence personnel to partner with host nations and assist them in creating specialized units to combat ongoing security problems such as genocide terrorism and human trafficking as a non-profit charity they offer services free of charge to their host nations human trafficking is grown into the second largest criminal activity in the world reaching an estimated 150 billion dollars in annual activity lantern rescue has developed rapidly to combat trafficking lantern operates through a trained international network in order to rescue women and children from sex and labor slavery and facilitates holistic aftercare services they're gearing up for operations right now and you can go to lantern rescue dot o-r-g to see how you can support them financially welcome back to lantern rescue and today's show we're kind of talking about sexual assault versus you know sex trafficking and you know what are these things what can we look out for we're going to get to the a lot of that but when we we're finishing up we're talking about the stigma that's attached especially for men you know when they have been assaulted sexually you know a lot of times that's a real assault on their masculinity and so the way they act out on that ends up with lots of deranged sexual behavior that they themselves are they themselves they're survivors and they don't understand why they're being driven to do certain things where you know this is a place where christ and his healing is is really necessary but if we don't talk about the things to where people can get this out in the open and they feel free to talk about what they're being driven to do you know it it just gets worse and worse and so this is it's a critical thing right gabby and you got statistics that talk about that yes the stigma is definitely different culture wants to silence us out of shame and that works definitely with men and with girls and i i find a lot of times when abuse like this is when we're scared to share it and we kind of stuff it in it can turn dark and ugly and hurtful inside of us and that a lot of people who abuse other people have been abused in their past one of the stories i was talking about before the dad he had been abused and things like that and it kind of just turns into a generational thing where the abuse continues in a cycle over and over and a sobering statistic is that 90 percent of children who do suffer from sexual abuse were violated by someone known to the family and that's not just known to the family but also in the family that it happens and so many abusers that see this kind of stuff or experience this kind of stuff become hands-on abusers themselves and so really being able to stop that stigma talk about it find healing and be instead of living in that victim mindset becoming survivors and speaking up for others will not only help the person who has experienced that abuse but help them stop the cycle of continuing abuse in the future oh absolutely absolutely and well whitney you have got some things when it comes to like what we can be looking out for right the bystander effect right and it really does vary in the situations that you're in as a parent obviously we look for different things than what you're going to look at or what i look at as a teacher or we talked like the airline industry industries where you're going to be you may be around certain situations more frequently but you know a lot of it is getting to know people you know christ created us with a heart to know people um that is his desires just like he knows us and so in doing that um you really kind of learn when somebody's off when things aren't right when they are struggling with being withdrawn or not making eye contact that's that feeling of not good enough starts to show through and then that's when questions are able to be prompted it's exactly like ren said so many people are survivors of this right they don't want to live in that that victim mindset but some are stuck there and and sometimes that's an a way or an avenue for you to start asking those questions why do you feel worthless why do you not want to be friends with people you know those are little withdrawn things that you can start picking up on in your kids and in people around you and adults are just as guilty of it as children are ren from your perspective oh absolutely i think whitney really touched on some great stuff and it's sometimes you know the the warning signs and the hints that something's going on can be so different from person to person you know there's sometimes there's a kid that is in the classroom and he's like acting out and he's a bully and he's bullying the other kids and to some people they're just like oh that kid's just a jerk you know but when you look more into it you can find out other things like what you know why are you always asking out why why are you always so aggressive towards people being near you you don't want people to talk to you you're trying to withdraw you don't want people close to you sometimes people will isolate because they don't want you to see the warning signs they don't want they don't want to seem weak they don't want to and it's really typical with male victims male survivors etc way to put it they will withdraw they'll act out very aggressively because they want to show that they're masculine the way they're being abused is you know looked at by society as emasculating so there's those signs that aren't the typical black eye or stuff like that it's case to case you really have to get to know the people around you and be cognizant of what's happening in your surroundings yeah my own experience with with with guys and even in my own story that you've got behavior that you're trying to control lusting and that kind of thing and you can't find answers well it's interesting that jesus can take you back as somebody else shares their story as i listened to other people's story i started seeing oh wow that wasn't normal in my life no that what that family member did in front of me wasn't something that i should have been seeing and and it left this stain that really i realized jesus wanted to clean up in my life and really helped me with the situations that i felt like were out of control and so in a lot of our cases we've got behavior that we know isn't consistent with what we want to do in christ but he wants you you know to have these frank conversations or or be in places where people talk about these so you can hear the freedom that other people have experienced and it's available to all of us but because these things just escalate right gabby i mean they get worse and worse and worse as they go down and people's behavior gets worse yes it does the enemy love to use shame against us and it kind of breaks my heart because i have met a lot of people who it's not that they can't talk about it or they're not ready to talk about it but they've just been this cycle where they feel like it's not acceptable to talk about it and it just makes me sad to them because as christians especially we should be open to hearing the truth of what's happening and not closed off us not saying the word um like rape or sexual abuse doesn't make it not happen those are horrible acts but we put so much power in the word that it can't be spoken that we actually push that back onto the people that are suffering from it and don't allow them to open up and tell what they're going through what they're struggling with and be there for them and pray for them and actually be their support like in the fight and not just after it and being able to openly discuss things like this with such integrity and honesty and transparency is really a powerful tool that so many overlook because the only way to truly fight it is to acknowledge it and to learn from it instead of just hiding it away yeah and so wow whitney i know as a teacher you know this is so near and dear to your heart as you look out across these students and you see those statistics and you're like man you know how can i be a light in this in this dark situation it is and you know i i just had to gabby what you just said is so impactful because you're absolutely right we have to not be afraid to ask the question and talk about it because keeping quiet on these issues and pretending like they don't happen it's exactly like you said it doesn't mean they don't happen it's not keeping them from happening it's keeping the enemy you know able to use that shame factor that shame card and so in the classroom setting in our church setting anywhere really having those that open dialogue is huge i mean i can't overly express that because it means something to let someone know they're not alone in the fight and when we look at numbers like one in three girls one in five boys in a classroom of 30 kids that is a large amount of my classroom that may have experienced some sort of sexual abuse and ren touched base on the kids that act out and the bullies and there is a reason they're acting out you know and reaching the heart of that that is one of the most important jobs that we can be called to as a parent as a teacher as a whatever put the put the title on there as you will we need to be reaching those people and remembering that it's not just kids those kids grow up to be adults so having those conversations with the adults in your life giving them that soundboard for them to say or talk to you about it and letting them know they don't have to carry that shame with them forever we are able to put that at the cross that's the beauty of of christ is our savior if he takes those labels and trades them in for a child of the king and so man just maintaining that mindset in a classroom setting in your work setting and in your personal life i think allows and opens the door for a lot of people to flourish outside of a victim mindset yeah and and then still there's this idea of balance ren right and like you you were talking about it last episode we didn't quite get to it about you had an incident where you know it's just it's a different culture where we work in yeah so times have changed a lot over the years and the whole it takes a village to raise a child used to be a saying that people really took to heart and they your neighbors i remember coming home from school and my parents you know maybe forgot to leave the door unlocked and i went and hung out at the neighbors until they got home and that wasn't unusual and nowadays it's like anyone looks at your kid and you're calling the cops which and i understand we live in a world where the media is proliferating all these stories about kidnapping deductions all that kind of stuff but it's hard as a bystander try to find a balance there like for example a couple weeks ago i was at the beach and i was walking down the beach with someone else and the other person was their parent i'm not but i obviously work with children a lot it's the work i do with the lantern and and in my life and around children a lot and we're walking on the beach and we see this barely walking toddler like spilling diapers very young baby walking towards the ocean there's no real adults anywhere nearby and this kid he's just going for it and the way and we're both looking at each other like at what point do we we grab this kid at what point do we pick this kid up and and you know run him for safety and the waves starts coming in and it starts to splash over this kid and just in time before he gets swept up to see this kid's older siblings maybe a four-year-old grabs the kid and drives him back and it wasn't a good feeling because we had to basically wait until the kid was in peril to feel like it was acceptable to help because nowadays if you you know interact with a kid in the store or you you know you're smiling at a kid everyone takes that as not everyone but a lot of people are going to take that as you're some type of predator you're you have malicious intent so it's very difficult as a bystander to know when it's okay to speak up to do something to say something because you don't want to be seen as seen as a you know perpetrator as a criminal for me i would rather get in trouble for or seem like i'm too intrusive than to allow a child to be hurt and not say something so that that's a difficult balance you'll have to figure out in their lives is when you do see the kid at the grocery store when you see the kid on the plane you think isn't acting right the situation seems wrong when is it time to speak up and that's going to vary from case to case just like everything does in the world nowadays but the earlier the better and if you're wrong you're wrong it's okay as long as the parents are doing the right thing then they should have nothing to worry about yeah that's it's a challenge but this a beautiful time to pray when you begin to see this like god is this is this the time is this when we need to do something because we're seeing something and wow i hate that we got you know just a few seconds left but i feel led to send it back to gabby i think you've got a last word for us i agree with rent i think it does way more harm to not say something than do something i have definitely come in to situations where it just wrecked my nerves seeing how parents or whatever guardians with the child was training that and the truth is that a lot of that statistic that i talked about is families or parents abusing their children and that happens so much we see documentaries of like children dying from their parents and social work not intervening and what she said like if the parents are doing right they're going to be so thankful that someone had the nerve to stand up and say something and ask that question because that means someone else is looking out for their children they're not going to be offended by it and worst case scenario is if they do get angry or mad at you you can stand on knowing that you did what you could to look out for someone else and be a good citizen and christian and want to help and to just navigate on that kind of feeling instead of a feeling of what if of someone else's perspective i'm sure like me everybody listening is going to be praying about what you know lord where do you have it from me and so we thank you so much for listening and it goes of course as always we'd suggest you go to lanternrescue.org to listen to other episodes and to find more resources along these lines thank you for listening this is the truth network
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-14 04:47:27 / 2023-09-14 04:58:10 / 11

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