I’ve been asked why we are still covering the anti-trafficking area during this crisis. Certainly, the thinking goes, COVID presentes more pressing needs.
I certainly will not minimize the great needs COVID has created and magnified. But I think it is important to note a few things during this crisis as well.
We made a commitment to help in this area during this time and it’s important to honor our committments.
Online buying or sex during this crisis has increased. This may be due to greater loneliness or time at home, but more people are buying and sexually abusing people now than before this crisis. In fact, they are being delivered straight to the homes of those who are stuck at home! The greatest increase right now is in the Galveston/coastline areas, perhaps at some people’s vacation homes where they may be “riding out” their time at home.
“Street traffic ” has not slowed down, either. In fact, several walkers have not even heard of the Coronavirus/COVID-19! This is how isolated many who are being trafficked and abused are kept!
The current economic downturn everyone is facing is affecting those who are either teetering on trying to get out of the industry or those who have recently but current finances are pushing them toward possibly needing to go back to it to be able to survive.
PornHub (see information here) is offering free “premium memberships” right now during this virus so people who are stuck at home (which includes children!) have easy access to hard pornography, thus fertilizing future addicts and fueling the sex trafficking industry.
The HPD Vice department, to protect their force, is minimizing enforcement of trafficking right now, which allows traffickers to victimize with even more impunity.
Please pray for these victims and the horrendous situation they face daily; and even more so during this crisis!