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‘God’s children are not for sale’

Sex trafficking of children is a global crisis. The U.S. is cited as the No. 1 "retailer" of child-sex trafficking. It must be stopped and our children protected.

Shelley E. Huguley, Editor

August 3, 2023

2 Min Read
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A week after our country celebrated its freedom, my three children (ages 21, 18 and almost 15) and I drove to a movie theatre in Lubbock, Texas, to see the new release “Sound of Freedom.” 

The movie, based on a true story, features Jim Caviezel as a federal agent who saves children from sex traffickers. The movie exposes and raises awareness about the sex trafficking crisis — globally and in the U.S. The film is well-done. The content is difficult, to say the least, but an issue that demands attention and eradication. As Caviezel says, “God’s children are not for sale.” 

Caviezel, who plays Tim Ballard, a U.S. Department of Homeland Security agent, makes the statement in the movie, “You can sell a bag of cocaine one time. You can sell a 5-year-old kid, five to 10 times a day for 10 years straight every day.” It horrified me to hear and again to type. It’s got to stop.  

The U.S Department of State website has this to say about trafficking:  

“Human trafficking, also called trafficking in persons, has no place in our world. As both a grave crime and a human rights abuse, it compromises national and economic security, undermines the rule of law, and harms the well-being of individuals and communities everywhere.  It is a crime of exploitation.  Traffickers profit at the expense of their victims by compelling them to perform labor or to engage in commercial sex in every region of the United States and around the world. With an estimated 27.6 million victims worldwide at any given time, human traffickers prey on people of all ages, backgrounds, and nationalities, exploiting them for their own profit.” 

At the end of the movie, viewers are invited to stay for a short message following the credits. Here the United States is named the No. 1 “retailer” of child-sex trafficking. California and Texas rank No. 1 and 2, respectively, in the U.S. for the number of human trafficking cases, according to the National Human Trafficking Hotline.  

The hotline cites the following top sex-trafficking venues of 2021: pornography, illicit massage/spa businesses, hotel/Motel-based, residence-based commercial sex, online ad venue and street-based, to name a few.  

Who is the most vulnerable? “Anyone can experience trafficking in any community, just as anyone can be the victim of any kind of crime… Generational trauma, historic oppression, discrimination and other societal factors and inequities create community-wide vulnerabilities. Traffickers recognize and take advantage of people who are vulnerable,” the website reports.  

What can we do? Stop the demand. Get involved. There are organizations working to rescue and minister to victims, including, Polaris, which operates the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline, Operation Underground Railroad and Shared Hope International. If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-888-373-7888. Let’s work together to bankrupt this industry in the U.S.— the home of the free and the brave for everyone.  

About the Author(s)

Shelley E. Huguley

Editor, Southwest Farm Press

Shelley Huguley has been involved in agriculture for the last 25 years. She began her career in agricultural communications at the Texas Forest Service West Texas Nursery in Lubbock, where she developed and produced the Windbreak Quarterly, a newspaper about windbreak trees and their benefit to wildlife, production agriculture and livestock operations. While with the Forest Service she also served as an information officer and team leader on fires during the 1998 fire season and later produced the Firebrands newsletter that was distributed quarterly throughout Texas to Volunteer Fire Departments. Her most personal involvement in agriculture also came in 1998, when she married the love of her life and cotton farmer Preston Huguley of Olton, Texas. As a farmwife, she knows first-hand the ups and downs of farming, the endless decisions made each season based on “if” it rains, “if” the drought continues, “if” the market holds. She is the bookkeeper for their family farming operation and cherishes moments on the farm such as taking harvest meals to the field or starting a sprinkler in the summer with the whole family lending a hand. Shelley has also freelanced for agricultural companies such as Olton CO-OP Gin, producing the newsletter Cotton Connections while also designing marketing materials to promote the gin. She has published articles in agricultural publications such as Southwest Farm Press while also volunteering her marketing and writing skills to non-profit organizations such as Refuge Services, an equine-assisted therapy group in Lubbock. She and her husband reside in Olton with their three children Breely, Brennon and HalleeKate.

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