This is one of those unfiltered conversations that needs to be taking place all over the country. When people hear of human trafficking, they typically associate it with something that happens internationally or in movies. The hard reality is that it is happening right in our “backyards,” in every state in the US, and we often are just not aware of it.
Yolanda Schlabach is a Remarkable Woman from Delaware, and she is passionate about bringing awareness and reform around this ugly reality. She is the Executive Director of Zoe Ministries, whose vision is that every girl under the age of 18 and from Delaware that is freed from sex trafficking is provided the opportunity for full rehabilitation. She believes that if we educate ourselves and others on what to look for as signs of the presence of human trafficking and offer proper training for law enforcement, we can curb the statistics and bring about reform.
During our unfiltered conversation, Yolanda educated me about some of the statistics around human trafficking in the United States and the difference between prostitution and trafficking. The numbers are staggering. About 300,000 cases were reported last year in the US, and familial trafficking is on the rise. 83% involves US citizens. I was shocked to also learn about the rise of trafficking involving international women and that massage parlor trafficking has become big business.
It’s almost overwhelming to think about, which is why I think these conversations are so important. There are things that we actually can do to help. Yolanda pointed to some great resources where we can learn more about the issues around trafficking. She shared how to report suspicious activity through the National Human Trafficking Hotline at (888) 373-7888. And we can always volunteer or donate to organizations like Zoe Ministries that are providing support to victims rescued from the bondage of trafficking.
Connect with Yolanda
You can also listen to her TedTalks, Sex Trafficking in the U.S.: Young Lives, Insane Profit and Life After Trafficking: The Bridge From Trauma to Triumph and reach out to connect with her if you have any questions or interest in helping her combat this issue in the United States.