Liam Neeson rescues an easily forgotten actress daughter from certain destruction—and certain sex. The credits roll, and the theater empties.
It’s shocking how many people think immediately of the movie Taken when the issue of human trafficking is brought up. They’ve seen the movie; they understand.
Here’s the deal: sex trafficking is only the tiniest, tiniest bit like Taken. It does happen to people traveling recklessly in Europe, yes. And, yes, they more often than not get “lost in the system.”
Trafficking, though, is a global issue for people of all social classes and ethnicities, from the eight-year-old girl sold by her mother in Thailand, to the 17-year-old picked up at a truck stop in the United States. Some are forced into it by financial need and a lack of alternatives, and others are physically taken against their will.
Most of the time people don’t understand sex trafficking as a global epidemic simply because it goes unnoticed. There are countless causes that tug at our money, our time, and our sentiments. Feed the hungry. Care for the sick. Visit the elderly. Tutor the underprivileged. Give blood. Give money. Give a room in your house. Give time. During the holiday seasons the demands of charities are even more pressing. Wrap Christmas presents for children who don’t have them, and trick-or-treat for UNICEF rather than a sugar high.
All of these are worthy causes, but the problem lies in choosing among the mess of organizations that constantly provide us with practical ways to act on an instinct for compassion. Naturally, different people are drawn to different causes that speak to their passion.
However, the issue of trafficking oftentimes is simply not talked about because, frankly, it’s ugly. People exploit and abuse other, wholly innocent people. It displays the dark side of mankind, and it’s an uncomfortable topic for many because it involves—shh!—sex. And prostitutes.
Those who turn their heads away in a blush from these words must learn to look upon this problem as the horror that it is. And as something that must be stopped.