Post written by Hailey Standridge
I am currently working on a project for the nonprofit, Shared Hope International. They are a Christian founded organization that works to provide support and resources to victims of human trafficking. Furthermore, they conduct research and educate men, women, children, and nations on the many issues surrounding trafficking.
The organization currently provides each state in America with a “grade” that helps to raise awareness and educate citizens and government officials of the current flaws with their statutes regarding protecting and helping victims of human trafficking.
Who Does Trafficking Affect?
The first major thing I have learned since working on this project is that trafficking is not what you might expect. There are many forms of trafficking, and it is not always done in the middle of small towns in other faraway countries. Trafficking affects everyone. This means it is necessary for everyone to be educated about the issue and for everyone to be looking for ways to combat and serve those who have already been harmed.
Since beginning to work on this project I have become aware of the huge problem that still exists within America with regard to preventing, combatting, and recovering from human trafficking. Prior to helping Shared Hope, I was in complete ignorance about the gaps in the current legislature in place among the many states within my own country. A large number of states are still in need of huge amounts of improvement amending and writing new statutes that will provide more protection for individuals who have suffered because of trafficking.
I was unaware of the many legal needs that arose when a victim of human trafficking was free and the many laws needed to provide protection to those no longer under the control of traffickers. These needs can include support and resources for providing them with shelter and protection from being trafficked again and from facing criminal charges for acts they had to do against their will. Laws also must be amended to make sure that victims can successfully press charges against their traffickers without fear of being unable to provide certain evidence that may be needed or directly facing the trafficker in person in order to testify.
Overall, the project has really given me so much hope knowing that so many individuals are working tirelessly to help end the worldwide fight against trafficking. I truly feel a calling from God to do my own part in providing a voice for those whose voices have been stolen from them. Everyone can contribute in some way and I feel as though Christ has led me to this organization in particular in order for me to try my best to do what I can to help save someone who may become a victim or even provide support to someone who is finally free again.
This post was written by a Center for Global Justice Student Staff member/Law Clerk. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect those of Regent University, Regent Law School, or the Center for Global Justice.