Jun 01, 2019Stop Human Trafficking and Abuse Event

Stop Human Trafficking and Abuse Event

On Saturday March 30 a Stop Human trafficking and Abuse event was held at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Kansas City.

Gary Allman Two-minute read.   Resources

On a snowy Saturday morning in March a group of determined individuals attended the ‘Stop Human Trafficking and Abuse‘ event held at St. Andrew’s. Unfortunately, the group was small and Mike McDonnell discusses this in his article on Spiritual Complacency elsewhere in this issue.

Those present learned from trafficking and abuse victims how trafficking and abuse starts, and what can be done to help the victims. It wasn’t easy listening to the harrowing life stories of people directly impacted by these devastating crimes. It did, however, serve to strengthen our resolve to continue raising awareness, and take action wherever we can to fight human trafficking and abuse.

The Small but determined audience for the Stop Human Trafficking and Abuse event held at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Kansas City, Missouri. Image credit: Gary Allman

The day was opened by Jeff Butcher, National President of The Brotherhood of St. Andrew co-sponsors of the event with The Diocese of West Missouri.

Brotherhood of St. Andrew President, Jeff Butcher at the Stop Human Trafficking and Abuse event held at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Kansas City, Missouri. Image credit: Gary Allman

The all-day event featured four sessions.

Slavery, the Bible, and Gritty Evangelism – The Rev. Dr. Benjamin Thomas from the Saint Francis foundation. Slavery is seen all over the Bible, and the Bible has been used (wrongly) to defend this practice. Fr. Benjamin explained how a biblical theology of humanity stands against any practice of slavery, including human trafficking, and why fighting human trafficking should be viewed as an act of “gritty evangelism.”

The Rev. Dr. Benjamin Thomas, Director of Church Relations for the Saint Francis Foundation refutes talks about the response to slavery expressed in the Bible. Image credit: Gary Allman

Hiding in Plain Sight – Greg Holtmeyer. One in six males are sexually abused by the time they are eighteen. That means approximately twenty-five million males have been sexually abused in this country alone. There is no religion, education level, socioeconomic level that is immune from sexual predators. Greg shared his personal story of childhood sexual abuse, discussed the short term and long term effects of the sexual abuse of males both physical and emotional.

Greg Holtmeyer, Executive Director of The Phoenix Project, speaking of his experience as a victim of male sexual abuse at the Stop Human Trafficking and Abuse event held at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Kansas City, Missouri. Image credit: Gary Allman

Trafficking Survivor and victim advocate – Christine C. McDonald. Christine told us about the impact of her experience of 20 years as a sex trafficking victim. She began by telling us about her being ‘sold’ at the age of fourteen by her mother in exchange for lodging. Christine’s life-story is hard to listen to. Having escaped from human trafficking she is now an advocate for survivors.

Christine C. McDonald, Trafficking Survivor and victim advocate speaking about the impact of her experience of 20 years as a sex trafficking victim at the Stop Human Trafficking and Abuse event held at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Kansas City, Missouri. Image credit: Gary Allman

Sex Trafficking – Helen Taylor. Helen described the social and cultural underpinnings of sex trafficking as well as what is being done to abolish commercial sexual exploitation as a whole. She recounted her own personal experiences of helping people trapped in the sex industry.

Helen Taylor of Exodus Cry speaking at the Stop Human Trafficking and Abuse event held at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Kansas City, Missouri. Image credit: Gary Allman
Brotherhood of St. Andrew VP Social Justice, Mike McDonnell winding up the day. Image credit: Gary Allman

Gary Allman is Communications Director with The Diocese of West Missouri, and 1st VP Communications and Public Relations for the Brotherhood of St. Andrew.

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