You can help us bring forth laws that fight commercial sexual exploitation and assist exploited women in rebuilding healthy new lives. Give to our year-end campaign today and be the bridge to freedom.
Over ten years ago, Exodus Cry embarked on a journey to create Nefarious: Merchant of Souls, a documentary exposing the world of global sex trafficking. The process of making this film took our crew on a four-year trek across the earth, visiting sixteen countries on four continents, exploring the realities of trafficking in prostitution.
One thing became clear as we took a long, hard stare at the enormous multi-billion-dollar sex industry: in order to abolish sex trafficking, the entire sex industry must be abolished as well. This is because prostitution and sex trafficking are inextricably linked—the same abuse that happens to trafficked women happens to nearly all women in prostitution. And every one of them deserves to be free.
At that time we also came to see that the abolitionist law, which focuses on ending the demand for prostitution, was the key to abolishing the sex industry (originally called the “Nordic Model” as it was first adopted in Sweden). The roadmap to successfully combating this injustice became clear. The surest strategy for ending the scourge of prostitution and trafficking would be to assist countries in adopting the abolitionist law.
The surest strategy for ending the scourge of prostitution and trafficking would be to assist countries in adopting the abolitionist law.
This model of law was featured in Nefarious as a primary solution to the rampant spread of sex trafficking internationally.
When the film was released it was eagerly embraced around the globe by people from all walks of life, including many in government. In 2013, there was an incredibly successful screening of Nefarious on Capitol Hill for members of Congress and, after the screening, it was clear that the legislators who attended were impassioned to combat this issue and wanted to know how they could help.
That’s when our team explained the importance of criminalizing the purchase of sex, as was featured in the film. We laid out how our US State Department could do its part.
This department releases an annual Trafficking in Person’s Report which acts as a “report card” on how well countries are doing in fighting trafficking. Countries that receive a “bad grade” in this report, so to speak, suffer from public shame as well as potential economic penalties as a consequence. The department could require that in order for countries to receive a good rating in this report, they must implement laws that criminalize the purchase of sex.
It was then that the Sex Trafficking Demand Reduction Act was first introduced in Congress.
After much advocacy from a multitude of organizations and individuals, the Sex Trafficking Demand Reduction Act was introduced three times, over a period of six years—each time overcoming setbacks and gaining more and more support.
Exodus Cry played a role in garnering favor for the legislation through writing articles, co-organizing a Capitol Hill briefing on the importance of demand reduction, coordinating an international letter of support signed by over 200 organizations and 1200 advocates, and doing many visits to Capitol Hill for one on one meetings.
In the spirit of abolitionist William Wilberforce, all of us fighting for this legislation have been determined not to give up no matter how long it takes. Now it appears that this important bill may finally cross the finish line in 2020. It was recently amended and introduced this congressional session in a bi-partisan alliance by seasoned anti-trafficking representatives Ann Wagner, Chris Smith, and Hakeem Jeffries. This is the first time the bill has had such strong bipartisan support.
…this important bill may finally cross the finish line in 2020.
We know that major legislative change is possible. With tenacity, perseverance, and a lot of prayer, laws can be adopted that can literally change the course of history, as was evidenced in the life of Wilberforce.
As just one recent example, allies in Israel had been fighting for years to advance the abolitionist law. Israel has been a top destination for sex tourism, a hotbed of trafficking, and a place where women from around the globe were being sexually exploited. Exodus Cry was able to help organize a letter of support for the bill to send to Knesset members and join hands with the many other individuals and organizations praying and fighting for change in that nation.
After many setbacks, the law finally gained enough support and passed on the very last day in 2018. Today, there is hope that the entire business of sexual exploitation there will come to a screeching halt as the demand for prostitution is destroyed. Because abolitionists around the globe didn’t give up the fight, countless women and children in Israel will be set free from the chains of prostitution.
Imagine if, one by one, each nation that’s a hotspot for sex trafficking adopted the abolition model of law, put pimps and traffickers out of business, and helped those in prostitution to successfully exit and rehabilitate. The world may very well see the greatest exodus from global exploitation that it’s ever seen.
When you support our work and legislation like this, you are a bridge to freedom from commercial sexual exploitation. By supporting Exodus Cry you will provide needed resources to help mobilize the masses in pushing for the passing of this critical bill that will help our world become a place where, one day, every person may be freed from the clutches of the predatory sex industry.
Here are two ways you can help us cripple the predatory sex industry:
1. Be the bridge to freedom by giving to our year-end campaign today.
2. Contact your representative and ask them to co-sponsor HR 4326, The Sex Trafficking Demand Reduction Act. Use this tool here to easily contact them. Below is a sample email you can use.
Dear Mr./Mrs/ ______
As your constituent I want to bring to your attention, and ask you to co-sponsor, an important bi-partisan bill to combat sex trafficking globally called The Sex Trafficking Demand Reduction Act (HR 4326). Reducing the demand for commercial sex is the only effective way to prevent and eliminate sex trafficking and this bill will be an important and effective way to ensure our nation is doing everything it can to put pressure on countries around the world to take demand reduction seriously. Please co-sponsor and support HR 4326.