Sound of Freedom: Join the Fight Against Child Trafficking
If you’ve seen Sound of Freedom, you’re probably wondering: How can I join the fight to end child trafficking?
Just as Tim Ballard—the man who inspired the film—passed the baton to Sound of Freedom filmmaker Alejandro Monteverde, and Monteverde passed the baton to Angel Studios, we are now passing the baton to YOU. Seeing the film is the first step in spreading awareness about child trafficking. What you do next is up to you.
Since this movie has debuted, we’ve heard dozens of stories about people taking inspired action to amplify this cause. For example, Justin Jesso recorded a song, within a matter of days, to be featured in the film.
While you may not record a song, there are still many ways you can contribute to ending this horrific practice. Leverage your unique talents to help this cause. Angel Studios does not endorse one single nonprofit organization, but encourages you to research organizations and see how you can make a difference within your community.
To kickstart your efforts, see the resources below. You can also hear from an anti-trafficking expert here.
How to Help Combat Child Trafficking
Unfortunately, child trafficking is an issue that is worldwide. There are many ways you can help combat child trafficking yourself, and the first is to educate yourself on the specifics of child trafficking. From there, start spreading the word and looking into how you can help in your local community.
After seeing the film, learn more about human trafficking. If you’re a parent, talk to your kids, appropriately, about what human trafficking is, monitor their social media activity online, and always know your child’s whereabouts.
“U.S. law defines human trafficking as the use of force, fraud, or coercion to compel a person into commercial sex acts or labor against their will.”
"Child sex trafficking is a form of child abuse that occurs when a child under 18 is advertised, solicited or exploited through a commercial sex act. A commercial sex act is any sex act where something of value – such as money, food, drugs or a place to stay – is given to or received by any person for sexual activity."
Common trafficking ploys involve forming romantic relationships with victims or promising them jobs in entertainment or modeling.
“Many people in active sex trafficking situations do not recognize themselves as being victims because they have been expertly groomed by a trafficker to believe they have chosen to participate in commercial sex.”
There are a variety of trafficking examples including familial, romantic, and child trafficking that involve recruitment, grooming, coercion, and control.
Source: Polaris Project
The United States is #1 in the world for sex trafficking
More than 500,000 children a year go missing in the US alone
More than 50% of victims are between the ages of 12 and 15
25% of child pornography is created by a neighbor or family member
Over 500,000 online sexual predators are active each day
Over 80% of child sex crimes begins on social media
As of 2021, there are 252,000 websites containing images or videos of children sexually abused
27% of human trafficking victims are children
Human trafficking is a $150 billion-a-year criminal enterprise business worldwide
How to Help Anti-Trafficking Efforts
Exit Services & Aftercare
Transitioning out of the commercial sex trade isn't just about the moment of 'rescue', but more importantly, about sustainable reintegration through exit services and supportive aftercare. Comprising support mechanisms such as shelter, counseling, healthcare, legal aid, and vocational training, exit services equip survivors with resources to leave the sex trade and for life beyond exploitation.
They often give survivors the courage to leave their exploiters and they act as a safety net that prevents survivors from falling back into sex trafficking due to lack of support. By advocating for policy change to support these resources, volunteering, or donating to organizations offering these services, a community arises that enables survivors to thrive independently.
Look out for local organizations where you can contribute.
The best way to combat human trafficking is to stop it before it happens. The current reality is that for every child and individual rescued from the sex trade, others are brought in to take their place. Unless root factors enabling sex trafficking are addressed, no amount of rescue and aftercare will stop this crisis.
If there were no sex buyers, there would be no sex trafficking. Increased awareness, penalties, and accountability for those doing the harm and driving the demand for victims are proven successful deterrents that actually shrink this crisis.
Strengthening legal and policy frameworks will greatly deter potential traffickers. Stricter laws, increased penalties, and rigorous enforcement can make sex trafficking a high-risk, low-reward enterprise for those considering it.
Institutional changes are crucial. This includes fostering a culture of zero tolerance towards trafficking within organizations and systems, as well as promoting ethical standards across various sectors. Demanding that major corporations, such as payment processors, social media platforms, and travel hotspots, reject profits from sexual exploitation would significantly help end this problem.
Economic empowerment programs also play a significant role in prevention. Providing communities with access to viable income opportunities and quality education can reduce this vulnerability.
Three Actions You Can Take Right Now:
Research and volunteer at organizations providing support in your local area