The Original Child Protective Services
Operation Cross Country, an FBI sex trafficking sweep, concluded this past weekend. 105 minors were rescued, and 150 pimps and other alleged perpetrators were arrested. According to the FBI, the operation covered 76 cities. It is the seventh and largest enforcement action of this type to date.
The Child Exploitation Task Force (CETF), who carried out the operation, said that at-risk youth – often foster children or runaways – are especially vulnerable to human trafficking. Ronald Hosko of the FBI said the pimps entice them with compliments or ask whether they want to “make some money.” Staca Shehan, with the Center for Missing and Exploited Children added, “These traffickers are great at reading people. They look at these victims and quickly assess, ‘Do they need an older boyfriend? A protector? A supplier? Do they just want to feel cool?'”
In short, they look for a way “in.” Thank God for the intervention of proper law enforcement. But while we rightly celebrate the rescue of these young people, it’s an opportune moment to pause and reflect: How can we better protect children from those who would exploit them this way? Moreover, how can we best prevent it in the first place?
The answer isn’t complicated. The ancient Judeo-Christian ethic of keeping sex in marriage is the best preventative known to humankind. For the simple reason that marriage ties children to their parents. Bob Hamer who spent three years investigating the North American Man Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) as an undercover FBI agent wrote in his book The Last Undercover that “the most easily conquered target is one without a strong, loving, caring father figure.” And marriage, rightly understood and faithfully observed, keeps that father in the picture.
As Anthony Weber of the Christian Apologetics Alliance noted, “The absence or dysfunction of fathers is a theme that YA [young adult] entertainment addresses over and over and over and over and over and over and over again.” When he’s missing, there will inevitably be a hole. And it’s a void that predators lie in wait to invade.
Parents tied to their children – present, involved, and alert – are a child’s first line of defense against them. Predators will look for a way in, but if parents are guarding the gate, they’re not likely to find one.
- Young men and women, if you want to do what’s best for your children, save the sex for marriage. And once married, be faithful.
- Once you become parents, stay present, active, and alert. You are your child’s guardian, protector, and defender.
It may take a while, but they’ll probably thank you for it one day. In the words of an ancient Hebrew proverb, “They will rise and call you blessed.”