• Harlie Cloyd

HOW YOU CAN ACTUALLY #SAVEOURCHILDREN

So you want to #saveourchildren. Here's where you, an average citizen, can start...


In addition to talking to your own kids and doing what you can to protect them, you can enter into the world of foster care.


I have been wanting to write about this topic for awhile now, but haven't been able to do so without getting worked up and angry.


You see, since entering the foster care world I have come to know and love several incredible individuals who experienced childhood sexual abuse. Some of their abuse was kept within the confines of their own family. Others were trafficked by their family to friends of the family.


Let me just say, it's all horrific. And it makes me incredibly angry for them.


BUT, I know that, at least for me, actions I take out of anger are generally unproductive. So I've had to work through my emotions a bit before writing about this topic.


Also, I'm a firm believer in promoting what you love instead of bashing what you hate. I try my best to live by this.


It is estimated anywhere from 70-90 percent of child sex trafficking victims have a history of being in the child welfare system.


Let me say that again... SEVENTY TO NINETY PERCENT of child sex trafficking victims have a history of being in the child welfare system.


Why? I believe it is largely because these children are more vulnerable due to lack of healthy, stable relationships in their life.


You don't have to be in law enforcement or be a part of a special organization to fight child sex trafficking. Actually, being involved in the foster care system is a very real, tangible way to prevent children from being trafficked.


How so?


If you are a foster parent, a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate), teacher, mentor, or friend to a child in foster care, you have the opportunity to show them them what healthy, stable relationships look like. You have the opportunity to speak love over them, and show them they have value. You will also be another (or maybe the only) set of eyes watching out for them in this scary, broken world.


Now, I'm not saying biological families aren't already trying to do this for their kids. But let's be realistic.


DHS does not remove children from safe, loving homes. They remove kids from neglectful or abusive homes, which is traumatic and skews foster children's concept of self worth.


This makes foster children much more susceptible to be trafficked.


Also, one side of this topic I think a lot of us forget about is what happens to the kids who ARE rescued from trafficking??


I'm sure some are able to be reunited with their families, but what if they don't have a family to return to? Or what if their families were the ones trafficking them?


This is yet another way you can help a victim of child sex trafficking, through foster care.


Now, I have a call to action, and I know it might sting a little for some of you to hear... But if we really want to put a stop to child sex trafficking, we have to be about more than just posting #saveourchildren on Facebook.


For me and my family, that looks like foster care. We choose to step into the broken, messy, and sometimes very scary world of foster care, because these kids need us.


Some of them don't have anybody fighting for them at all.


If not us, then who?

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