We live in a scary period in history, especially with all of the threats that exist to our children’s safety, both physically and mentally. And there are plenty.
Perhaps none are more terrifying than the one that sex trafficking poses to both our sons and daughters. Many movements have sprung up over the last few years aimed at taking down this horrible blight on our society, and rightfully so.
Underage girls are routinely kidnapped and sold into sex slavery all so a bunch of greasy, disgusting, deplorable men can become wealthy without doing anything constructive with their time and talents.
This sort of situation is what nightmares are made of for parents, which is what makes the tale of Kubiiki Pride and her daughter all the more terrifying. It wasn’t a bad dream, it was their reality.
Pride’s daughter went missing for nine months before finally being found on a website called Backpage.Com.
Her daughter, who is 14-years-old, had run away from home, leaving Kubiiki to frantically search the streets and the Internet for any traces of her daughter.
One night, at 4:30 a.m., Pride was scrolling through BackPage when she saw an ad under “Escorts” that featured several heart emojis. She clicked, only to see a picture of her baby girl.
Here’s more from the Chicago Tribune:
“My first emotion was complete happiness. Just seeing my child alive made me so happy,” said Pride, who lived in St. Louis at the time. “When I took the whole picture in, that’s when I noticed the nakedness, the tattoos and the other woman in the pictures.”
Pride would learn soon enough about the horrifying ordeal her daughter had endured after being prostituted by a trafficker on the website. With an estimated 70 percent of prostitution ads nationally credited to Backpage.com, it has drawn the ire of mothers like Pride — who brought a civil suit against the company — and law enforcement, which has tried to change state laws and hold the website accountable for paid ads posted by pimps and traffickers.
The site also was linked locally this year to a high-profile slaying involving a longtime Brother Rice Catholic High School business teacher. In that case, prosecutors say Alan Filan was fatally stabbed by a prostitute he met through backpage.
So far, all efforts have failed on account of strong existing federal law that says Web operators can’t be held liable for what people post on their sites because doing so would be a threat to free speech and to a healthy exchange of ideas.
Cook County prosecutors are now working with Sen. Mark Kirk to find a new way to put an end to sex trafficking on websites like BackPage.Com and it involves a new federal law that would make it possible for website operators to be criminally charged for promoting or selling advertisements that help facilitate sex crimes.
BackPage is owned and operated by Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey, who both used to be journalists but left that line of work to take up the classified ad site as it provided more opportunity for financial gain.
The site makes money by charing $5 to $10 per post. The page for Chicago contained nearly 400 active posts for escorts, which adds up to quite a pretty hefty chunk of change.
There have been many controversies sparked by this particular site, but both owners consistently thumb their nose at critics, seeming to care less about the possible destruction their money maker might cause others.
What’s worse is that, according to Activist Mom, Google is actually defending this awful website:
Google actually recently lobbied members of Congress, imploring them to shoot down legislation aimed at crippling Backpage.com’s ability to profit from the sexploitation of children.
“The bills undercut one of the foundational statutes for the internet: Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act,” an email sent from Google to lawmakers read.
This sort of thing is why it is more critical than ever for parents to be heavily involved in the lives of their children, to be pouring themselves out for their sake, building solid relationships that will keep them safe from such a horrific fate.
Young children should never be given unsupervised access to the Internet, whether that’s on a computer, smart phone, tablet, or any other possible device.
Many sex traffickers and pedophiles will attempt to groom children via chat services like Snapchat or Instagram in order to lure them out so they can kidnap them and make a pretty penny selling them to the sick individuals who run these prostitution rings.
It’s sick and disturbing, but such is to be expected in a world that has rejected Christ and seeks to fulfill every single desire they possess, no matter how deplorable it might be. It’s tragic that so many young girls are paying the price for perversion.
Thankfully this young lady was found, but many others are not so lucky. Some go missing to never return, torn away from their loved ones forever.
As Christians and conservatives we ought to be leading the charge against such wickedness, as slavery of any kind is contrary to our values and beliefs. The church should be starting ministries to help rescue girls and provide the care and support they need to assimilate back into a normal life.
Let’s hope that measures are taken to destroy Backpage and others sites like it in order to protect our girls from this vicious destroyer.