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Post written by Crystal Armstrong

Crystal Armstrong

I am Crystal Armstrong, a 1L Student Staff member for the Center for Global Justice. While my interests in law are widespread, I know that I want to do some work that advocates for victims of human trafficking.

So, I decided to join the Center to find where my passions are in this subject.

I was assigned to the Shared Hope project, which aligned perfectly with my interests.

Shared Hope International

Shared Hope International is an organization that focuses on preventing sex trafficking. The organization aims on trafficking prevention and awareness by advocating for anti-trafficking legislation in every state. Shared Hope’s national and international work brings awareness to victims, case handling issues, trauma treatment, and rehabilitation of victims, seeking justice to traffickers for the past, current, and future victims.

One way that Shared Hope accomplishes this is by giving states ranks based on what legislature that they have passed. What I’ve found in researching for Shared Hope is that most states are severely lacking. The efforts of these advocacy groups are not being matched by efforts of the legislatures – either they are not being heard or they are not being adequately considered.

Human Trafficking Related Legislature

In my work for Shared Hope through the Center for Global Justice, I discovered just how far behind states are in passing trafficking-related legislature. I grew up in an area where it was not common but not unknown; my education system was diligent in teaching about prevention, awareness, and the mission of increasing awareness. With that much exposure, I had the assumption that everyone was that knowledgeable on the subject.

In working for Shared Hope, I’ve found that the legislative system is not. I’ve found many states that lack any training for police in how to handle a victim of sex trafficking and how to minimize trauma. As though being trafficked is not enough, the justice system fails to be efficient in allowing victims to find a new life back in society.

While this furthers my passion to continue advocating for change, I have felt the Lord correct my assumption that everyone received the education on the subject of trafficking that I did. I quickly realized just how that is not the case, but I can utilize the knowledge and experience to show light on this issue. I have also realized how unqualified I have felt in approaching this area of law.

However, God had placed on my heart a concept that I have yet to forget; He doesn’t call the qualified, he qualifies those that He calls. Change is not automatically understood, and it requires the efforts of the diligent and the passionate.

This post was written by a Center for Global Justice Student Staff member. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect those of Regent University, Regent Law School, or the Center for Global Justice.