Archive for sex trafficking

Exploiting Vulnerability… Christine McDonald

Posted in Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Culture with tags , , , , , , on March 16, 2019 by paulthepoke

The vulnerabilities of others are exploited. These “helping hands” pose as if they are doing a good deed. Yet they exploit the disparity of the poverty of others by paying them a pittance for their labor. They get cheap labor, yet can rest their heads in peace at night because they have done their “good deed” in “helping the homeless.” I have to question the motives. They are not facilitating a chance to break the chains of oppression and poverty that bind these human beings. They are perpetuating them.

By definition, the exploitation of the vulnerabilities of those who have not by those who have is trafficking, whether labor trafficking or sex trafficking. They are exploiting the tough circumstances of poverty, homelessness, maybe mental illness and addiction, for their gain, which is cheap labor or perverted pleasure.

We have to acknowledge the intersection between poverty and homelessness as a place of vulnerability. It puts such individuals on a platform to be trafficked. Males are often labor trafficked, and females fall victim to sex trafficking. The victims often don’t even realize what is truly happening at the time. This is part of the cold injustice of trafficking.

We cannot continue to turn a blind eye to this population. We cannot ignore that they are a target of traffickers who seek victims to exploit for their financial or selfish gain. We must start by recognizing trafficking and exploitation for what they are. Asking another human being to work for less pay than someone else simply because they are poor, homeless, and without other options is labor trafficking, and it is wrong. And asking another human being to perform sexual deeds in order to meet their basic human needs—the needs every person should be entitled to—is sex trafficking, and it is nothing short of grotesque.

Every person is a human being made in the image of God. No matter how desperate a person may be, he or she is not a commodity to be used!

https://www.gofundme.com/crypurplemovie

“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald

https://crypurplemovie.com/

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Please Don’t Use Me… Christine McDonald

Posted in Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Culture with tags , , , , , on February 23, 2019 by paulthepoke

We have to acknowledge the intersection between poverty and homelessness as a platform for individuals to be vulnerable to be trafficked. Males are often labor trafficked, and females fall victim to commercial exploitation. We can’t continue to turn a blind eye to this population and its targeting by traffickers seeking victims to exploit for their financial gain.
—Christine Clarity McDonald

https://www.gofundme.com/crypurplemovie

There are times when we all want to slip into the crowds unnoticed, but there is still a part of us that deeply longs to be known and seen and cared for. Jesus offers this to believers, and being known by the Creator of the Universe is the most profound “knowing” we could possibly experience. However, the world around us is full of broken individuals who feel invisible because they don’t yet know Christ, and the rest of humanity either ignores them or only sees them when they can be used.

In John Chapter 4, we read the story of Jesus and his conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well. The most profound aspect of the story isn’t that Jesus calls her out for being married multiple times. Nor is it that He knows that the man she is currently living with isn’t her husband. What is profound is that He truly knew her. He saw her. Because Jesus was able to see her, when He offered her living water, she believed.

When we claim to feel moved by the hurts and sufferings of others, yet we fail to truly see those who are hurting as individuals, our efforts to relieve suffering or bring healing fail. Sometimes such efforts even do more harm.

God doesn’t ask us to take on the world, but to offer the world hope. We are His ambassadors to a hurting world. Being intentional and thoughtful in our interactions can go a long way in offering hope to those in our sphere of influence. What if we open our hearts to Him, and let Him help us see those around us as He does?

Each and every soul on this planet was fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14)

Each one is a treasure to the One we love most. He is calling us to see them as precious treasures, too.

https://www.gofundme.com/crypurplemovie

“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald

https://crypurplemovie.com/

Christine McDonald & Bishop Michael Curry

Posted in Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Culture with tags , , , on November 22, 2018 by paulthepoke

The Right Reverend Michael Curry, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, interviews Christine McDonald, author of Cry Purple (crypurple.com) and an advocate for survivors of sex trafficking, about what we can do to combat trafficking.

Filming for Christine’s autobiographical movie “Cry Purple” started October 2018. Coming soon to a theater near you.

Matthew 1:5-6, 16 and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David the king… of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.

“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald

Read more at…

https://www.amazon.com/Cry-Purple-Christine-McDonald/dp/1482053616

Market Forces: Demand is the Problem

Posted in Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Culture with tags , , , , , , , , on October 6, 2018 by paulthepoke

1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

Christine McDonald

Featuring Christine Clarity McDonald

Christine works for legislative change in Missouri metro areas and across the state.

Regardless of how a person ends up in prostitution, one fact is for certain: the purchasers and predators possess the power. Prostitution exists because a demand for sex exists, because purchasers are willing to pay for it. And predators are willing to procure it.

Would you be surprised to know that the purchasers (commonly referred to as the “johns”) tend to be mostly upper middle class, married men? Most are educated. This stands in stark contrast to the position of those being sold. It is, no doubt, a power play.

It is not just the purchasers who are the problem. Ultimately, it’s a story of predators seeking the vulnerable, the weak, the impoverished—the ones others have forgotten. There is an equal evil in those who see people strictly as a product to be sold. These predators home in on their targets, invest time to build trust, and lay a foundation of control. They are often in no hurry, as they know it is an investment. Just as a hunter lies quietly waiting for his kill, a trafficker invests time waiting for the key moment to expose the reality of what he is. By then, it is too late for the prey.

bling

With all of these factors combined, once a person is in the world of prostitution, there is little chance of a way out. They are stuck, at the mercy of greedy individuals who look at them as objects of selfish pleasure and plump coffers. To be stuck in a situation with little (or no) power to get out is to be the victim, not the perpetrator,
regardless of how you arrived there in the first place.

“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald

Read more at…

Love, Condoms, & Moral Indignation

Posted in Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 13, 2018 by paulthepoke

Christine McDonaldFeaturing Christine “Clarity” McDonald

Christine is the current Director of Outreach, Advocacy and Curriculum for Restoration House.

http://restorationhousekc.com/

Amos 5:21 I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. -God

A few years ago, I operated a street outreach. We went to the streets and parks where I myself had existed for nearly two decades. We took sandwiches and basic hygiene items to the women and men in that area.

I was contacted by a TV news show who wanted to join us. The news crew had done food service during the holidays, but always in an artificial environment. They had never actually gone to the streets where the many who avoided the long feeding lines dwelled.

We brought bean burritos from Taco Bell that night, as well as water and condoms. As I handed the condoms out, the reporter stopped everything. She turned off the microphone.

I knew the deal. I had heard it before from women of faith who had joined us on these outreaches. The ladies who had so much church. I suppose, that they forgot about the human in us all.

I listened as they ranted all the reasons she couldn’t be a part of us giving out condoms. I had heard all the reasons, so I’d just hear them again. My mind raced, thinking maybe she had a new reason. She didn’t; nobody ever did.

“We are promoting their actions of prostitution” or “We can’t promote prostitutes to sell their bodies out here” were reasons commonly cited. But I was geared up and ready. Goodness knows I had given this speech at least fifty times.

 

If you are one of those individuals who might have concerns about giving out condoms in ministry work, then please continue to read this. Give this a fair shot of thought. Consider for a moment that maybe your moral indignation isn’t as productive as you think it is.

We all know by now that I was prostituted. As a formerly prostituted person, my voice provides a different perspective. During my exploitation, I was rarely in a position to go to the store to purchase condoms. If I was working for my “man” or “pimp,” my priority was to make my funds as fast as I could so I could eat and avoid drama. To state it bluntly, condoms were a luxury I couldn’t afford.

Additionally, it wasn’t uncommon for a trick or John to pay an extra twenty bucks to have sex with you without a condom. Statistics tell us that about 68% of all tricks are married or in a “committed” relationship. Do you think their loved ones at home have any clue they are paying for a prostitute to have sex with them, much less without a condom?

The prostitute might turn twenty dates in a 24-hour period, not to mention the times she has been raped. Keep in mind that her man or pimp has other girls he is having sex with – other prostitutes who are having unprotected sex with many others. Are you doing the math here?

A girlfriend or wife learns she is pregnant, and during this joyous announcement from her doctor she is also informed of another piece of highly unexpected – but far from joyous – news that she is now HIV positive. This is an extra “gift” contracted from her husband or her boyfriend – the john who purchased sex from a prostitute. Of course, this means he is infected as well. So, stop and think of how this woman and her unborn child’s life are forever affected by the man’s urge to purchase sex from a prostitute.

Please note. I am not saying all prostitutes have HIV. I worked the streets for nearly two decades and am HIV free! But I have friends who have died of AIDS and some who live with it daily.

This is yet another reason we must end the purchase of human beings. This cycle of exploitation and suffering affects not only the purchaser and the prostituted individual. There are also innocent victims who are affected who play no role in the event yet end up suffering from it.

If we are truly attempting to connect to the humanity of this complex issue, then offering condoms for the prostituted persons we encounter is not only responsible help; it is loving help. Withholding something that could save a life simply because of our moral objections to its use doesn’t stop the activity. Nor does it convict the buyer or seller of sex. All it does is place additional conditions on love and help, therefore devaluing both love and help until neither is recognizable.

HIV is only one of many damaging effects these acts have on unintended victims. The collateral damage abounds in so many ways we can’t easily see. If we are going to truly help, we must be careful of misapplying our moral objections in ways that further compound, rather than help, the problem.

Our ministry is not only for the buyer and seller, but the unintended victims whose lives can be unknowingly changed forever by someone else’s choice to pay for another human being for their own sexual gratification.

 

“Love your neighbor… ALL of ’em!” -Christine “Clarity” McDonald

 

Collateral Damage

Posted in Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Culture with tags , , , , , , , on July 6, 2018 by paulthepoke

Christine McDonaldFeaturing Christine “Clarity” McDonald

Christine is appointed by the Missouri Attorney General for the Trafficking Task Force.

“For every woman and girl violently attacked, we reduce our humanity. For every woman forced into unprotected sex because men demand this, we destroy dignity and pride. Every woman who has to sell her life for sex we condemn to a lifetime in prison. For every moment we remain silent, we conspire against our women. For every woman infected by HIV, we destroy a generation.” – Nelson Mandela

Collateral damage is what we call the loss, injury or victims incurred by an action or event who were never intended to be involved. Many times, when we venture out in a helping capacity, we have our sights squarely focused on the population we serve. Yet oftentimes, those individuals we serve touch the lives of many we may never encounter.

Compassion and love at their best grow and extend indefinitely. The things we do out of love for others can have a massive ripple effect across time and space. Likewise, the things we don’t do can carry greater, far-reaching ramifications. What if one simple, yet sometimes controversial, moment of service could save a life? Conversely, what if a misapplied moral objection costs a life?

When we consider human trafficking, exploitation, and prostitution, we tend to recognize the purchaser/exploiter as well as the person being used. However, there is another population that is inadvertently affected yet rarely lands on our radar. Sometimes our narrow view of the impact and our tightly-clung-to moral objections have unintended consequences.

human trafficking

When we think of serving and how we serve, the most important thing we can do is put on the love of Christ and remember how much He loves and would give all for just one person. We have to ask ourselves, is making a moral statement that will inevitably be lost more important than the individual?

Jesus was well known in His day for spending His time with those viewed as the biggest “sinners.” When the religious leaders of the day verbally lashed against Him for this, He told a parable about a shepherd who had one hundred beloved sheep and one ran away. In the parable, the shepherd left the 99 to go after the one. The Son of God did not withhold His presence from the “sinners” to make a moral statement. Instead, He left us all with a clear example to follow. He made it crystal clear that every one of those “sinners” was invaluable to Him.

Even while knowing His days were limited, Jesus didn’t spend His time with His family and loved ones. Instead He chose to spend time among the untouchables of His day. And though He – the perfect, Holy, God of the universe – had many moral objections to their actions, He didn’t let those moral objections become the focus or stand in the way of an opportunity to touch their hearts.

“Love your neighbor… ALL of ’em!” -Christine “Clarity” McDonald

 

 

PaulthePoke

Prophecy Watch & Bible Study

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