Caring For The Hurting

For some people, memories of minor childhood illness are happy memories filled with special treatment, yummy teas and snuggling in momma’s bed watching cartoons all day.  For others, childhood illness is not something they remember… or want to remember because experiences like that were nothing more than wishful dreams. I had a harsh reality moment today when I realized that so many kids will never have such fond memories, either because of lack of a loving home or because of even worse…

Every day, more and more children are being taken or coerced into human trafficking.  Many victims are lured in, having never experienced living in a loving home, with hopes of finding love and someone to care for them.  Many are stolen from their loving homes, taken from the place that once provided sweet memories.

These children are no different than my children and YOUR children.  They too will get sick, injured, sad, and upset… only these children have no one to comfort them, make them tea, snuggle with them, or even have a day filled with rest in a comfy bed with cartoons on.  They won’t receive sympathy from their “caretaker”, but be expected to get back to “work”. They won’t feel any love, but rather empty loneliness as they sit in misery, with fever, sore throat, upset stomach, etc.  The person that they now trust as their “caretaker”, whom they have been deceived to think cares about them, only cares about the money that child provides, and the fact that their being sick means less money. No comfort.  No tea. No snuggles. No comfy bed. No Momma or Daddy.

It breaks my heart to think that I have such wonderful memories of my mom taking care of me when I was sick, and my grandma’s cinnamon tea and chicken and rice soup.  It is a painful thing to think that countless children would either never have those memories, or are stripped away from the loving home that once provided those moments!

It is great to hear the news stories of children rescued from human trafficking!  It’s a wonderful feeling to know they are safe… But what about the many who are victimized every day, those who are not, and will not be rescued?  What about those who are rescued…. They are traumatized, they need help, they need hope. Some might return home, but MANY don’t have a home to return to, or should not return because the “home” was not safe.  Victims who are rescued need so much more than what is available to them. They need a HOME, they need guidance, they need resources, they need LOVE.

God is Love.  He commands that we love one another as He has loved us.  God is our source of hope, our provider, guide, healer, and so much more.  He loves us no matter what, His love is unconditional. He is our Loving Father, even more so than our earthly parents.  What a great way to extend that love to others, by caring for them, providing for them, helping them! Spoken For and NM Dream Center needs your help in this endeavor!   Check out for information about our 12 for 12 campaign and how you can be part of sharing the love to these victims, and helping prevent many from becoming victims.


My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. (John 15:12)

Heroin Is a Leash Controlled by Traffickers

When you hear the word “leash” what do you think of? According to the Google dictionary, a leash is, “a strap or cord for restraining and guiding a dog or other animal.” But the dictionary left out words like drugs, dominance, humans and trade. Sex traffickers often use heroin as a means to control what they perceive as their property. They command the people they control like animals and dictate whatever they want them to do. The ongoing scourge of drugs in society has caused it to become a noose around victim's necks.

Some women may already be addicted to heroin and traffick their bodies to support their addiction while others are purposely given drugs by pimps as a means of coercion. Pimps will give those they’ve entrapped drugs in order to create dependence on them. A case in Florida found “A man targeted women in recovery as a way to continue to get them to work for him. He supplied them with drugs and got them re-addicted back onto the drugs.”    

Drug addiction can also develop out of the need to cope with the horror of one’s daily life. Michelle Hannan, director of the anti-human trafficking effort at Salvation Army in Central Ohio states, “heroin impacts nearly 100 percent of the human trafficking cases the organization handles.” The link between the two are undeniable. First, the traffickers will recruit individuals through substance abuse. They may target individuals with already existing substance issues in order to coerce them into trafficking. Second, they will try to control victims through substance abuse. They will use drugs as a form of a reward or punishment system in order to decrease the victim’s ability to resist trafficking and abuse. Lastly, the victim will use the substance as a coping mechanism for all of the trauma they endured.  The referral by traffickers to heroin as a leash is absolutely accurate.

- Evangaline Vigil


The Hidden Sex Trafficking Victims… Boys and Men

When you think of sex trafficking, does your brain automatically think of women? Do you forget or overlook the 2% of boys/men that are being trafficked? Some may say ,“well maybe it’s because boys can fight them off” or ask, “who would want to buy men?” Others may say “women are smaller, weaker and can be easier to take advantage of.” Anna Smith, co-founder and Executive Director of Restore One states, “We need to stop overlooking people because of their gender. We need to allow space for men and boys to be vulnerable.” Male victims who are trafficked, come from the same broken families and have a history of neglect, abuse and sexual abuse just like female victims.

One study, by the John Jay School of Criminal Justice, determined that nearly half of commercially exploited children in New York City were young males. As a society we are focused on female human trafficking versus,  the epidemic of males that don’t have any resources at all. Tina Frundt, founder of Courtney's House explained, “boys often show up at my drop-in program, and I’m frustrated at not being able to find them long-term care.” This is a side of sex trafficking people are unaware of and don’t understand.

According to Sex Crime Law statistics, male prostitutes account for roughly 20% of the national prostitute population. Thus, leaving the stigma that prostitution is mainly done by females. It creates a gender bias in prostitution causing males to often not be assessed properly.  They are also more likely to be arrested for petty crimes. Many trafficked males are mistaken for being gay, when in actuality, there could be something else going on. Steven Pricopio, program coordinator of Surviving Our Struggle, states, “When people think about male prostitution, they think of it as gay phenomena, that [the boys] are in control of what they’re doing,” Pricopio said. “They don’t see them as victims … It’s not an issue of sexual orientation, it’s an issue of right circumstances which bring you to exploitation or the vulnerability that brings you into being sexually exploited.” The sad conclusion to all of this is, that male sex trafficking victims are not identified, understood or resourced.   

- Evangaline Vigil