By CLINT FOSTER
Does slavery still exist in the United States?
The common response would be, “no.” President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation before the end of the Civil War in 1863, effectively ending all forms of legal slavery in the U.S.
But modern slavery is very much alive and takes a far different form than it did on Antebellum plantations in the American South.
According to Traffick 911, a faith-based non-profit organization driven to stop sex slavery in the U.S. – between 100,000 and 300,000 American children are forced into sexual slavery each year.
These children, whose average age is between 12 and 13, suffer for an average of seven years before they die from a variety of causes, according to the organization’s website Traffick911.com. It is an industry that generates a staggering $32 billion annually, which is more than Starbuck’s, Nike and Google combined.
Texas is at the forefront of the problem.
The Department of Justice designated Interstate 10 – one-third of which runs through Texas – as the number one route for human trafficking in the U.S.
Statistics show that one out of every three children who become homeless, either as runaways or for any number of reasons, are sold into sexual slavery within just 48 hours of being on the street.
The town of Millsap is doing its part to help with the solution.
Millsap First Baptist Church will host a housewarming for Triumph House – an upcoming, regional Traffick911 safe house for victims of human trafficking – at the Millsap Community Center, Aug. 10, from 10 a.m. to noon.
The event has garnered many sponsors including the City of Millsap, Millsap Volunteer Fire Department and Joy’s Shear Creations. The entire community is encouraged to attend and bring either monetary donations or items the new safehouse will need.
Sexual slavery/human trafficking is a serious problem and organizations like Traffick 911 are working tirelessly to create change through a method of “prevention, rescue and restoration.”