The popular misconception or stereotype of sex trafficking for many of us is that it only happens in developing countries, yes it does happen but this is also true in developed countries, for example, it happens in the streets of New York City and the suburbs across America.
In its continued effort to end sex trafficking in New York and restore the well-being and independence of foreign national survivors, Restore NYC, a Christian organization held a discussion meeting titled “ The Gospel, Sexual Violence, and #Me Too”. The meeting was designed to encourage the church and the world at large to respond to violence against women and position ourselves ‘you and me’ to be a prophetic force for the good in this world. Sex violence is traumatic; the voices of survivors are silenced, relationships are broken and isolated and power becomes powerless. The question is how can you and I press into the tension of the good news and the #MeToo movement? How can we better understand the realities of sexual violence and bear witness to the gospel? There are several ways you and I “#MeToo” can respond: (1) Lament and Repent – the biblical lament calls for honesty and truth-telling about the broken state of society and the individual, it allows for the crying out against existing injustices and a protest against the status quo. “ The spiritual practice of lament (also) acknowledges the source of hope. Lament helps the people of God find hope even in midst of suffering” Soong – Chan Rah. (2) Listen and Resist – calls for us to create a safe space for the victim, believe the victim’s experience, resist blaming and or judging the victim. (3) Learn and Resource – challenges you and me to know our blind spots, to know what sexual violence is, what trauma is, what trauma-informed care is, what current policies, laws, and cases are informing the movement, what healthy relationships look like. (4) Lead and Respond – calls for us to create platforms for disclosure of sexual violence, assess power structures in churches, leadership, and take accountability. To learn more about the work we do, visit us at restorenyc.org