We must transition from social justice to social transformation. Social justice is the awareness of the issue, but social transformation begs that we do something to reverse the dysfunction. The victims of injustice and dysfunction don’t need our mere spasms of passion, but rather, our dedicated efforts toward the hope of things made new and right.
As we shed more and more light on the issue of human trafficking within our own neighborhoods, critics scoff at the over-dramatization of statistics and categorize victims with blanketed terms like ‘prostitute.’ But, as my colleague, Dr. Sandra Morgan, articulates in this PBS SoCal segment “The Girls Next Door,” human trafficking is a symptom of a network of deeper, underlying issues.
In this story, PBS reports on the increased uncovering of victims in Orange County and the best practices in leading those we rescue to recovery. Targets of trafficking typically have a history of physical, psychological or substance abuse. They may have a parent in prison, come from a single parent home, be homeless, runaways, or high school drop-outs. 65% are American and 35% are foreign born. Poverty and a lack of education are also both primary factors in those that fall victim to both sex and labor trafficking.
Now that Orange County has its own Federal Human Trafficking Task force, I am advocating for proper care for these individuals. We need to focus on long-term exit plans and a comprehensive continuum of care to help deprogram the psychological grip of imprisonment. This story covers the wrap-around services of the Rescue Mission as a model for how to properly care for victims of injustice and transition them into long term life change.
Watch this powerful interview below for more insight on how to restore victims of human trafficking to justice