All over the world 4.8 million people, mostly women and children, are stolen and sold as sex slaves to the highest bidder each year.
In America, few regions have been hit by this scourge worse than Orange County, California.
On the outside, the Southern California county appears to be a safe, wealthy, and even fairly conservative community, boasting a median income of over $86,000 and a healthy employment rate.
According to The Epoch Times, however, the county has become a hot destination for human traffickers:
The official Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force (OCHTTF), set up to fight real time sex and labor slavery in the county, released their latest victim report in 2019. Approximately 80 percent of both victims and traffickers in Orange County travel to the area from other parts of the region, the state, and the entire nation.
“This is due in part to Orange County’s tourist attractions, sports venues, beach cities and affluent population,” states the report. “Traffickers bring their victims expecting to have an abundance of customers and higher profits.”
There were 415 human trafficking victims rescued in the county in the past two years, compared to 509 in 2015-2016 and 371 in 2013-2014. According to the OCHTTF report, a full 73 percent were new victims in 2017 or 2018. Of that total, 87 percent were trafficked in the sex trade while 12 percent were in forced labor.
Kelly Galindo, director of 26 Seconds, an upcoming documentary series on sex trafficking said that of each location she has visited, including Thailand, Iraq, Cambodia, India, East Africa, Mexico, Orange County is the worst place for trafficking victims.
“It may sound strange, but of all the places I have visited, I have been most afraid right here in Orange County — tough pimps and lots of guns,” Galindo told the Epoch Times.
“We live in this amazing, yet horrifying online world in which one can be anywhere and order up women and children like pizza,” Galindo added, highlighting how the industry has been able to boom and rake in billions of dollars each year thanks to technology and social media. “They are delivered to [a] home or hotel. The saturation level is at a whole new increasing intensity.”
Linh Tran, the administrator of the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force, told the Times that the county is an incredibly lucrative place for traffickers to compel women and children to perform sexual acts, deliver drugs, or even marry their customers.
“One can sell a girl here for an average range of between $800 to about $1000 a night,” Tran said. “That’s eight to ten different customers that the girl would be forced to solicit that night.”
No one is immune to this abominable tragedy—it’s happening right in our own back yards. We must equip ourselves and learn how to spot and report human trafficking. Most importantly, we must build ourselves up in prayer and seek the covering of our Lord and Savior who is able to deliver these modern-day slaves from such evil.
The church was behind the first abolition movement in the United States. Now, the global slavery crisis, which is far worse than any other global slave trade in human history, must be eradicated in the name of the Lord!
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