Buying sex from enslaved people does not happen in a vacuum. There is a progression that includes various aspects. If we are serious about ending the sex slave trade we will need to address some serious issues within every nation in the world, particularly those with male-dominated societies that promote male aggression, provide women with limited or no educational and economic opportunities, and deprive men of solid and symbiotic relationships where they can find genuine intimacy and self-expression for their feelings.
10 ways we can fight sex-trafficking:
1. Stop supporting masculine-centric ministries.
When our faith excludes women, we are stating that men are entitled to more than women are.
2. Support mental health opportunities.
When we shun counseling and therapy or claim that “real men” don’t have feelings or should go it alone, we isolate them and refuse to offer any support systems. Instead, we should be great advocates for mental health care – both preventative and for restorative treatment.
3. Provide spaces for 12-Step Sex Addiction Recovery Groups.
When men admit they are powerless to their addiction and seek help, we should do everything we can to support their efforts by providing physical meeting space, resources, mentoring, opportunities to advertise their group, and also invitations to those who are willing to share their stories on a broader platform.
4. Hold men accountable for their actions.
When we value the humanity in men and in women, we seek to care for women by not tolerating disrespect from men and at the same time we are honoring the humanity of the men by keeping them from harming others.
5. Mentor men.
Older men can seek out younger men to teach them how to have their deepest needs met in healthy and appropriate ways. Just as Christ incarnated himself in our world to be a model amongst us, so to can we do the same for others.
6. Economically support those who hold up holistic views of men and women.
In addition to refraining from supporting the sex industry (i.e., porn, adult entertainment, and strip clubs), we can choose to buy or boycott music, movies, television shows, books, and stores based on how they treat men and women.
7. Talk about sex in the church.
Without conversations about Scripture and sex, Christians are left to turn to culture to inform and care for them with choices regarding desire and intimacy. The Church could be a leader in discussions about the goodness of love and sex; in how to make moral decisions that respect others; and in raising up articulate, critical-thinking persons. When we shed light on sex, we are eliminating the need for it to be in the shadows, where distortions lie.
8. Talk about intimacy too, not just sex in the church.
Sometimes we use intimacy to be synonymous with physical sex. As we seek to be loved and to belong, to know and to be known, we need tools for how to do this well. By engaging our faith, we can find deeper, more meaningful relationships with others, with God, and with ourselves.
9. Be healthy women and men who care for our brothers by facilitating growth, healing, and grace.
By taking responsibility for our own emotional well-being, we become people who can care better for others, including our brothers and male loved ones.
10. Be a support to men.
Listen, encourage, and uplift. Do not berate, demean, or discourage.
Learn more at Stacey Schwenker’s Sojourners article: 10 Ways to Fight Sex Trafficking.