The Defenders USA (thedefendersusa.org), an initiative of Shared Hope International (sharedhope.org), is stepping up to the plate, and taking on an important role in the fight against the sexual exploitation of minors: calling men to action. While many seem to be taking on the project of victim services, this organization is getting down to the nitty gritty and cutting right to the source of the problem: demand. Without the buyer, which in most cases is a man, there would be no need to supply the product, which in most cases is a female child.
The Defenders USA is a group of committed men who are willing to challenge other men to oppose all forms of commercial sex. They understand the harsh reality that many of the people involved in the commercial sex trade are not willing participants, as many would like to believe, but are victims who are forced to perform such acts. Their goals are to, “raise public awareness about the realities of pornography and prostitution, while offering restoration for victims of sex trafficking. Defenders also encourage public discussion and empower activists, political leaders, members of the media, civil society groups, faith-based organizations, and churches to stand against this harmful market.”
One of the initiatives of The Defenders USA is their Truck Stop Campaign. Minors are bought and sold under the control of pimps at truck stops daily. The trucking industry also provides a ready-made route along which to transport minors who are being trafficked from city to city throughout our country. Approximately two times a month, The Defenders USA hosts peaceful demonstrations at major truck stops throughout the country. Groups are assembled to display signs and banners, as well as to pass out information regarding domestic minor sex-trafficking to truckers who are interested. The Defenders USA’s goal for the campaign is to, “encourage other men to join The Defenders USA’s cause.”
If you are a man who is appalled by this horrendous crime you can get involved! The Truck Stop Campaign is open for applications for team captains. All it takes to start the process is a desire to make an impact and a willingness to answer a few questions on the organizations website. Once you are approved, you can begin organizing a team of likeminded men and hit the streets!
For more information about The Defenders USA and their Truck Stop Campaign visit: http://www.thedefendersusa.org/truck_stop_campaign_sign_up.asp