Pornographic sites receive an average of 450 million visitors a month, more than Netflix, Amazon , and Twitter combined, and 64% of Christian men and 15% of Christian women view porn once a month, with the majority of these doing so several times a week

While we bemoan our struggle with porn and the need to spend our time soul-searching to understand why we view porn, someone is being sold for sex and filmed to fill the demand created by those who view pornography. The link between sex trafficking and pornography is real and cannot be emphasized enough.

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We are guilty of treating the porn problem in an elitist way. There is no doubt that viewing pornographic images hurts families and relationships, but focusing on our own hurts fails to take into account the real victims of our obsession. This problem is not really just about us.

Victims of sex trafficking are often coerced into working 12-hour days and taking between 12 and 30 men in a singe day. The worst part of this is that many will become pregnant as a result. When this happens, these women are often coerced, pressured, or forced to abort their babies.

In the sources listed, some of the women interviewed admitted to having had multiple abortions, one woman confessing to having had 17 of them. Often, the women miscarry at rates that are as shocking as they are painful to discuss, because they are beaten, punched or kicked either during sex acts or in order to force them to miscarry.

Pornography is also used to 'educate' prostitutes on the scenarios their customers want them to perform. It was found that men who view pornography are 270% more likely to solicit the services of a prostitute. And there is the rampant epidemic of underage sex trafficking. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime reports that 50% of the 600,000-800,000 people sold annually for trafficking purposes are children.

The average age of victims is between 11-14, and the average lifespan of those who are trafficked is 7 years. This is because of disease, infection, drug use, malnutrition, suicide, and abuse.

The carnage is real. The victims are broken. The problem is ours. All of ours. We must pursue holiness, because others' lives are on the line.

Church, I firmly but lovingly implore you to realize that the burden for this lies at our feet. We cannot look the other way, because the subject matter is coarse. Speaking out, raising awareness, and educating ourselves on the signs and symptoms of human trafficking could mean the difference between life and death for a trafficked victim.

We cry because of the ways in which porn offends us, but do we ever consider how offensive that response can be? Our habits enslave others in ways we could nary even imagine. We lament that the images of illicit sex haunt our minds but do not lament that someone experienced the degrading act we were desirous of witnessing in the first place.

This is one area where we should not play the victim and where we need to ask Jesus for deliverance, as others are counting on us. 

Turning off that computer or cancelling that pornography subscription could end the demand for souls to be sold for public consumption. It could reduce the amount of forced abortion, because no matter where a person stands on the pro-life, pro-choice debate, for these mothers, this can hardly be considered a choice. And for those littlest neighbors, there is never a choice at all.

Stay Gutsy,

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Rosa A. Hopkins

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