Human Trafficking and the Effects of COVID-19
and the Effects of COVID-19
Free NOLA, Inc. exists to bring hope, love, compassion, and restoration to the sexually trafficked and sexually abused, who perhaps, in the eyes of society, don’t deserve it.
During the COVID pandemic, most are just trying to survive. In the case of those in the sex industry, this is a nightmare beyond comprehension. Most (if not all) have issues related to drug/alcohol abuse but add to that another layer of not being able to feed their children, and the problem gets exponentially more vivid! Finally, add another complexity to the mix – the fact that their immune systems are severely compromised. How are they going to survive? How are they going to pay rent, put food on the table, and home-school their children? That’s the reality for many of those trapped in this industry. Even down to the fact that they won’t get unemployment or perhaps even the stipend from the government. What are these precious souls supposed to do? They will do whatever is necessary to survive; after all, they have learned how to survive in a world most of us can’t even imagine.
Free NOLA has been in contact with a few women who are willing to speak with us during this pandemic. Most do not have close friends or family, so they have no contact with anyone familiar to them. As fear gripped the hearts of those in our great nation and our state, one thing was evident; these women have more strength than we can even realize. Taking risks that they would not usually consider, putting themselves in danger that we cannot even imagine, has become their life since mid-March.
Some are so far away from family that they can’t get to them. As stated with one such victim, “I worry daily about my family and if they are okay.” As the shutdown continues, many are “scared” and are “paralyzed” with fear of getting help. For those of us who have family, this isn’t even a concern. We may be shut out from the outside world but have our family near.
Unfortunately, the rise in illicit sex has mainly been through online platforms, the internet, porn sites, dark web, and sites that promote the exploitation of women and children. The rise in those platforms has been over the top!
We will all get through this pandemic; however, for those we serve, let me leave you with this last thought – what would you do to feed your children; that’s the world they live in every. Single. Day.
To help or for more information, contact www.freenola.org