Friday, January 22, 2016

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month

January is human trafficking awareness month. I thought I would take this time to highlight something good that's happening to combat sex trafficking.

In Phoenix, Arizona, a billboard campaign is underway to raise awareness about the consequences of buying sex. Because demand is what drives this industry, community leaders and elected officials are targeting buyers, telling them simply "don't do it."  Many cities around the United States are waking up and realizing what a devastating effect prostitution and pornography wreaks on a community, but Phoenix is really cracking down, declaring their position: buying sex will not be tolerated.

The idea is to ask men considering it to also consider the consequences of their choice: "Buy Sex, Lose Everything." It's part of the Not Worth It campaign ( that has placed over 50 digital billboards around the city. Men who are caught buying sex in Phoenix risk arrest, criminal charges, negative publicity, loss of job, and loss of family if they have one.

Despite common opinion, prostitution is never a victimless crime. Buyers, their families, and the prostituted women themselves are harmed in these transactions. Areas where prostitution is legal attract those who would traffic and exploit. Although the logic in legalization argues that local, state, government regulation will eradicate illegal trafficking; in fact, these areas become magnets for pimps luring young, vulnerable women into the trade. And as the Not Worth It Campaign asserts, girls who are prostituted are often abused, beaten, and raped by the johns and pimps. No one benefits from this industry except the traffickers themselves.

Contemporary Christian singer, Natalie Grant and her anti-trafficking organization, Abolition International, has partnered with two other anti-trafficking groups to fight human trafficking and restore the women who have been victims of it. Their headquarters is located in Nashville, but their scope is worldwide.  You can check out their website here:

I'll leave you with a song Natalie Grant recorded a few years ago, which has been used in many anti-trafficking organizations due to its thematic material.

Also, there are just a few more days to enter the Goodreads Giveaway of a paperback copy of my novel Captives. The giveaway ends on January 31st.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Captives by Megan Whitson Lee


by Megan Whitson Lee

Giveaway ends January 31, 2016.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway


  1. I'll have to look for the billboards next time I'm down in Phoenix. I did see a billboard the other day down there; not the one featured in your blog post, but something related to human trafficking. Hubby made a very observant point that said "its slavery but we make it sound so much better by saying human trafficking." I wonder if it would get more people's attention if it had a different name to it. Glad though to see a city taking action like this to educate people and promote the cause against it.

    And you are right, it is definitely not a victimless crime.


    1. Very true. As a matter of fact, I'm starting to hear a lot of organizations use the term "modern day slavery." I think you're right. "Trafficking" sounds less egregious. I've even started hearing pimps being called "traffickers." Less offensive, I guess.

  2. Until I read your book, I didn't realize just how prevalent human trafficking is...and that the victims are prostituted in our own country. I always assumed when people talked about "sex slavery," they meant they were sold off to other parts of the world. I didn't mention that in my review but I learned a LOT about trafficking through your book...and it did make me rethink all of these missing persons cases I read. I wonder if that's what happened to Maura Murray... I know they say that most of these missing girls end up just having fallen victim to sicko murderer guys but there are a LOT of cases of women who have gone missing who still haven't been found to this day. Yes, very often when they are found, it is found that they were killed immediately and DNA just couldn't identify them until technology improved, but some of these girls who have been missing for years and years could still be alive.

    1. Yes, Stephanie. I think of some of these girls who have turned up again like Elizabeth Smart and Jaycee Dugard. It's chilling to think missing girls may have faced years of captivity and are still waiting to be found. Thank you so much for reading and reviewing the book. You are so wonderfully supportive of other authors. I really appreciate it!

  3. It's more than a little horrifying that here, in the twenty-first century, this is still an issue. One would think the human race would have improved beyond this by now.

    Here in Atlanta, there's been a crackdown, too, especially on the monsters who have forced children into prostitution. Evidently, our area is a hotbed for that sort of shameful activity.

    I just entered the giveaway for your book, but if I don't win it... I'll just have to buy it!

    1. Susan, unfortunately I hear that about Atlanta too. I guess in any big city where you have a lot of people, you have a high degree of demand. I'm glad to hear they're cracking down though.