1. Change your language
Instead of “prostitute” (or a derogatory synonym), say “prostituted women” or “victims of prostitution.” Most prostituted women entered the sex trade by 12; some, as early as 8. The main factor is poverty; if girls had another choice, they would take it.
2. Educate yourself
www.evangelicalfellowship.ca, aMillionActsofSustainability.com, PrayerforFreedom.com, JoySmith.ca, DefendDignity.ca.
Buy goods made by women learning to support themselves as they recover from the sex trade, such as Sacred Mark soaps from Ten Thousand Villages or Global Wonders jewelry from SA Foundation.
Support a rescue mission like SA Foundation. The average number of times it takes a woman to get out of prostitution is 7. Once they leave, it takes years to unlearn unhealthy habits and develop new life and employment skills. This is expensive, one-life-at-a-time work.
5. Write your MP
Since the Supreme Court overthrew Canada’s current prostitution laws in December 2013, the government has been forced to rewrite legislation. Bill C–36, the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act, introduced June 4, is a positive step. This is an opportunity for Christians to speak. Find a sample letter here: defenddignity.ca/mp-letter/
6. Teach a young man in your life to honour women as equals
According to Defend Dignity, 1 in 9 men in Canada buys sex. If every boy grew up internalizing the truth that women are not pleasure objects but people made in God’s image, there would be no market for illicit sex.
7. Mentor a young woman
Show an interest in her music or sports. Some 80–90 percent of girls in the sex trade industry have a history of sexual abuse. Girls who feel safe and valued, who develop a healthy sense of self-worth, are more likely to seek help and less likely to be manipulated into a relationship with a pimp.
There are organizations in every province helping girls seeking to leave the sex trade.
9. The most important thing to do is pray
That girls and their families would recognize the lies of traffickers; that we would do our part to address the poverty that leads many to sell themselves or their children; that God would transform the hearts of traffickers, pimps and their customers; that the 300 million women and children sexually exploited and trafficked worldwide would be freed physically, mentally and spiritually.
“Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear” (Isaiah 59:1).
—Compiled by Angeline Schellenberg