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Why this cause? {Clothed in Dignity}

There are so many worthwhile causes on which to spend one’s time; why is this cause—sex trafficking and prostitution—any different?

Here’s what I think: The world is broken. There is pain and hurt from natural disasters and car accidents and abusers. But the issues of sex trafficking and prostitution are two effects of the other brokenness in the world, and I think it comes back to one main thing: boundaries.

Photo by David Boca on Unsplash

Boundaries are the metaphorical fence around you and your world. The stuff inside your fence are things you can control: thoughts, feelings, intentions, actions. The stuff inside someone else's fence are things out of your control: their thoughts, feelings, actions and intentions.

Sex trafficking, by its definition, contains force, fraud, or coercion, often for the purpose of repaying a debt or involuntary servitude (1). It is slavery, and slavery is a boundary issue. It is a person misunderstanding what’s inside their fence, thinking that they control something that is inside another person’s fence. It’s demoting a person to the level of a thing: a tissue, a spoon, a hammer, a car. Something you use and discard.

A person is not a thing. A person is not disposable. A person has dignity and value because that person is created by the Creator. The same entity that created the sunset we admire, the mountain bigger than the Titanic, the creator who controls the wind and rain, created that person. That person who is being used and disposed of.

Recently a situation with one of my children clarified this boundary issue. I was preparing to leave for time with a friend one evening. My child, anxious that I would leave and never return, broke out in anger and clung to me. “No, Mommy has to go, I’ll tuck you in when I get home.” My child didn’t hear my no. My child lashed out and hit me, anger in their face. Anger that was really fear.

In an instant, I saw what could happen if I gave in. I would show my child that they have immense power to control another person. It would show my child that what’s inside my fence is actually theirs to control.

Now, this is one time, with my young child. And there have certainly been times in which I’ve let my children control me. But put that attempted control and disregard in an adult body…the person could become someone who thinks they own or can buy another person.

This is a simplified explanation to what goes into trafficking. This is trafficking stew boiled down and rendered.

Trafficking and prostitution is a boundary issue. People are not meant to be bought and sold. People are meant to be respected and honored as the beautiful creation they are. People are not to be used as things.

1. U.S. Department of State Archive,, 10/3/18

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