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Meet our new friends at Shared Hope International… getting it done!

Meet our new friends at Shared Hope International… folks who are busy working the mission to rescue victims every day.

The nation’s premier conference on child sex trafficking in the United States is coming to Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota. The JuST Faith Summit is more than an event – it’s a three day experience featuring bestselling author Eric Metaxas, worship with Alisa Turner, and leading experts on child sex trafficking.

Learn more: www.justfaithsummit.org

Little Girl Lost… and Redeemed

Rich’s Rants – A bitter-sweet victory for CauseACTION…

Two weeks ago both Houses of Congress passed the FOSTA-SESTA Act which effectively makes internet providers who allow sex-traffickers to operate on their platforms culpable for enabling the sex-trafficking of men, women, and children. After ten years of fighting Craigslist, BackPages, and others including Facebook and Google, Craigslist is now the first to take down their Personal “Dating” ads, most of which were sex-trafficking ads posted by pimps.

Last week, BackPages was shut down by the FBI, and the owners of BackPages were arrested.

I am sure that I will be held to account someday in the sky, but I did not shed a tear to see the mugshots of these digital pimps (who made tens perhaps even hundreds of millions). While the libertarian in me wishes we don’t need still more government interference, there is no denying that despite years of threats by State’s Attorneys General and many of us pleading for these digital platforms to be good corporate citizens and take down this sex-trafficking advertising, they only made small, legally-evasive changes which still didn’t deal with the abuse of thousands.

Sex-trafficking was first codified 18 years ago in the Federal Act known as the Trafficking Victims Protection Act or “TVPA” of 1999. The “TVPA” puts it pretty clearly – any commercial, sexual transaction that is the result of force or fraud or coercion or a person under the age of 18 years-old is not “prostitution” but sex-trafficking.

However, until now those providing these advertising platforms were sheltered by the earlier and outdated 1980’s “Safe Harbor” law. This is the crux of the FOSTA-SESTA Act. There is no longer any “safe harbor” for this sex-trafficking criminal activity.

There are as you might guess the usual suspects declaring the end of the 1st Amendment and the extent to which this legislation will hurt so-called “sex-workers.” We have heard it all before. These ads were simply enabling “rape for money.” As blunt as that sounds, I know it to be true from first-hand experience in the rescue and safe-housing of several sex-trafficking victims right here in Connecticut.

Let me personalize it for you…

The young woman whose image you see in this post was routinely trafficked in Connecticut… mostly on BackPages. She is gone now. My heart will be broken forever by her loss.

Yes, she made poor and ultimately fatal choices, but I can’t help but wonder how different it would have been had she not been trafficked and abused as she was. Perhaps the drugs would not have owned her the way they did. She did make it out for a while, but then the stress, shame, abuse and trying to run away from it all pulled her back in. She could not find her own “safe harbor.”

Sadly, like too many others, she did lose it all. Do you sometimes find yourself in tears in the middle of writing, reading or seeing something that reminds you of something you were sure you had dealt with in your life?

Yeah, me too.  As one of my favorite musicians and vocalists, Steve Perry of Journey fame wrote and sang in “You Better Wait”: 

Runaway. One more day. A broken-hearted child at play. I pray for you, Baby blue.

In the name of love, I reach for you. In the darkness comes.The evil of the night.Think about it. You better wait.

Stop yourself before you fall. You better wait. Stop before you lose it all. 

WATCH: Steve Perry’s “You Better Wait” video (with apologies for the video quality) by clicking this link or the image below. 

The lyrics to “You Better Wait”:

She was only a child
Someone to hold on
Only a child
Someone to believe in
Only a child
Someone to love

Ah……..

She was “17”
Beauty queen
I met her in a magazine
Heart of fire
Loves desire
Reachin’ out
Higher, higher

Runaway
One more day
A broken-hearted child at play
I pray for you
Baby blue
In the name of love
I reach for you

In the darkness comes
The evil of the night

You better wait
Stop yourself before you fall
You better wait
Stop before you lose it all
Somewhere there’s love

Oh somewhere, somewhere

Precious girl
Little pearl
Temptation is a lonely world
Eyes deceive
They believe
In everything, they wanna see, yeah

And the neon lights
Reflect your life
Only you know
Where you hide baby

You better wait
Stop yourself before you fall
You better wait
Stop before you lose it all
‘Cause somewhere there’s love
You better wait
Stop before you start
Don’t look back
Don’t lose heart
Don’t look
Don’t look
Don’t look back baby

Ah……

Don’t

Ah……
Don’t look
Don’t look
Don’t look back baby