• Pray for women and children who are homeless or living in poverty—major factors in sexual exploitation.
• Find out if there are opportunities to help in your synod. Contact your synod office or Adults Saving Kids, a national organization that works against sexual exploitation.
• Ask your elected representatives to pass legislation that punishes traffickers and helps people who are living in poverty or sexual exploitation.
• Talk with youth from an early age about what constitutes a healthy friendship, so they can evaluate whether they’re being manipulated. Predators often lure youth by pretending to be friends. Even if youth know someone, they shouldn’t share any personal information or photos online unless it’s OK with guardians.
• Study the ELCA message on commercial sexual exploitation and the 2005 Women of the ELCA resolution.
Six years ago, Joy Friedman, now 43, found her
way out of prostitution. Raped at 15, she was prostituted or trafficked
for more than 20 years by pimps and men who said they loved her.
“My first trafficker said he’d cut my mother’s head off,” Friedman told more than 50 participants at a Lutheran consultation on commercial sexual exploitation, Nov. 3-5, in Winnipeg, Canada. “I saw him do vicious things to women he said he cared about, and I knew he didn’t care about my mother.”
The consultation was sponsored by the Lutheran World Federation’s North American region, Women of the ELCA, the ELCA, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, and Evangelical Lutheran Women (Canada).
Friedman, a former prostitute, spoke to participants at a Lutheran
consultation on commercial sexual exploitation Nov. 3-5 in Winnipeg,
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