Oh how we are motivated to write; Dear John: We must let you know tonight; that your crimes - yes crimes - of soliciting and/or using sexually trafficked women – must end!
United Methodist Women
Responding to the United Methodist Book of Resolutions (“Abolition of Sex Trafficking,” ¶6023), and as women trained and certified by the FAAST (Faith Alliance Against Slavery and Trafficking), I want to offer this from the women of the United Methodist Church:
We encourage all to send in your own Dear John letter to your local areas - through the newspaper, television, Internet and local talk shows (radio and television) to serve notice that the users of the services drive the industry. No users, no industry - and millions of little girls and boys, teen aged girls and boys, young women and young men, adult women and men, would be released from the bondage of sex to provide money for the "pimps" and beneficiaries of this industry. It is clear that the users have not been targeted, but are the primary source of the problem.
A video has the voice of a policeman saying, “.... as I viewed the cars and SUVs of the johns using the services of this brothel, I noticed all of the gold fish symbols on the backs of the vehicles. I thought, I believe this is the outward symbol of Christians! Wow, there are a lot of Christians spending their money buying sex tonight." He said further, “I wonder what Christ and his father God is feeling about this.”
This crystallizes the problem. Sex trafficking has three major actors:
- The johns who solicit and pay for sex
- The victims
- The sex traffickers
The money flows from the johns, through the victims, to the pimps who are the financial beneficiaries. Both the johns and pimps are the supporters of the sex trafficking industry.
It is difficult to understand how anyone having the exposure to the accurate knowledge of human sex trafficking can remain untouched and unmotivated to "do and not just be."
There are at least three major outcomes from learning more about sex trafficking:
- Knowledge and understanding of sex trafficking requires a 360 degree angle of the problem.
- Access to the Internet has escalated the dimensions of sex trafficking globally.
- There is a clarion call to United Methodist Women to step out and up to lead our faith and our churches.
The call extends to other women's organizations, men's organizations, regular citizens, and very importantly, the public governmental officials and policy makers to act and make war on sex trafficking.
We strongly urge United Methodist Women in our legislative actions and social action agenda to look at HR 7311 and other legislation and get support for the implementation. We all must act - we must "do and not just be.”
Mayor Shirley Franklin in Atlanta developed and sent a Dear John letter to the users and supporters of the sex trafficking industry in Atlanta. She sounded the battle cry and we encourage every area to do the same.
People almost always ask about this as a problem only in foreign countries and are surprised to learn that it is in our own backyard.
*Dr. Gloria Scott is the social action coordinator for United Methodist Women’s Southwest Texas Conference, former president of Bennett College and former vice president of Clark Atlanta University.