Redefining Purity

“I believe you carry purity,” a fellow student said to me at church a couple years ago. I nodded my head and smiled politely. It wasn’t the first time I had heard that. People often said things like that when they prayed for me or encouraged me. I was hoping to hear something like remarkable intelligence or incredible boldness. Truthfully, I was kind of disappointed to keep hearing purity.

I didn’t mask my true feelings too well though, because the student saw my reaction and said, “Not the ‘Aw you’re innocent, good job,’ kind of purity. But the kind of purity that can change the world.

That caught my attention. If there’s a kind of purity that can change the world, I will take it.

As I dove deeper into this idea of purity, I began to realize it’s actually an invitation into freedom. We can sometimes get caught up in all the “no’s” of the bible and think that God is just another authority figure looking down on us and waiting for us to please Him. The truth is, God doesn’t say no to certain things to take away our liberty, He actually says no to protect it.

God invites you to partner with Him to keep yourself free.

God wants freedom for you, not bondage. He wants you to wake up in the morning and feel hope and expectation for what’s to come, not regret about the night before. He wants you to find the man or woman of your dreams and feel loved by them, fully loved, because you learned to receive love in its purest form. He wants you to live your life knowing that who you are is enough. He wants you to be in places of influence, walking out the deepest dreams and desires of your heart, without worrying about anything stopping you.

Sexual purity is a subject that can trigger shame for some people, but it’s not actually about what you did or didn’t do in your past. Your mistakes don’t disqualify you from carrying it. When you asked Jesus to come into your life and His blood washed you clean, you were called to become a carrier of freedom. Your past mistakes cannot be held against you or disqualify you anymore. Purity is evidence of God’s redemption story in your life. It’s deciding that nothing’s going to hold you  down, nothing’s going to hold you back, and nothing’s going to steal beauty, wonder, and goodness from your life. You’re free to live abundantly.

Purity may not get a lot of credit in our culture, but it is something worth fighting for. I see it in the faithfulness of a man who chooses to go home every day to his wife and kids and be a father and a husband. I see it in the courage of a young girl who asks her date to take her home after the dance, even though he’s dreamy, because one day she’s going to be someone’s wife and he’s going to be someone’s husband. I also see it in the young lady at the altar with tears in her eyes, asking a kind Father if He restores innocence that’s been lost, and finding that He does.

It may take every ounce of courage you have to live counter-culturally. It may take strength you never realized you possessed to say no to things the world places at your fingertips. If you do, you will definitely change your own life, and you might even change the world.

-Andrea Alley



The Redemption of Men

I remember when a man pummelled a woman’s head with the heaviest part of a telephone receiver in a phone box outside of Liverpool station. I remember getting out of my car down the street, screaming from a distance to save her life.

Whoever she was.

I remember him looking up, grasping from his violent breath, to see who had the audacity to interrupt him, leaving the half-conscious woman to now run after me. I remember the police being just around the corner. I remember how vivid and monstrous the sound of him beating her was – 16 years later.

Those are the trials that we define as traumatic in domestic violence, the ones people fight for years to overcome. For as much as physical abuse is the definition of evil in relationships, we seem to sideline the emotional torment, the slightly less burdensome journeys we never signed up for when he first asked us out on a date.

For the majority of us, hurt is very subtle, yet it’s startling how lasting that can be, it’s startling how bruised the heart can get with their emotional punches.

I remember being lied to. Regularly. By different boyfriends.

I’ve fought for a man who didn’t want to fight for me.

I’ve been the victim of verbal abuse, I’ve ducked away from being in a domestic violent one.

I’ve been on his mind and in his living room for a thousand hours and still he can’t decide whether he wants to date me.

I’ve been the confidante to the mistresses; I’ve been the confidante to the wives.

I’ve been the butt of their self-hating jokes.

I’ve been involuntarily part of a smear campaign so they can cover their own reputation in a mutual church community.

I’ve lost Facebook friends, I’ve been ignored in the streets, all based on the fact I decided something wasn’t right.

I’ve had to defend my right to exist with other women in his life.

It was the luxury apartment or me. And he took the apartment.

I’ve been controlled.

I’ve not been talked to for ten minutes in a car ride because he didn’t like my shoes. And I liked my shoes.

I’ve been advised to do my homework and by homework – he meant more squats.

I’ve been advised to eat more. I’ve been advised to eat less.

I’ve been told it’s between me or another girl he’s interested in – he ended up dating both.

I’ve been promised babies and weddings, with it never following through.

I’ve been flirted with to discover I was just the stop-gap girl to appeal to his own emotional needs.

I’ve been uncovered to a whole ray of people who knew my name, but I couldn’t have placed theirs.

I’ve been ditched because I wouldn’t put out. I’ve been ditched because I did put out.

I’ve been the apple of their eye in one week and a stranger to them the next.

I’ve had the biggest smile on my face when I finally found out their fickle fabrications. Yet my smile swiftly vanished when I learnt how long the lies had gone on for.

But this isn’t an invite to some pity party. This isn’t a recall on some of the poorer relationships I’ve endured.


This is a reality check to all those women that say that there aren’t any good men out there.


‘How could she start this piece of writing with her horror stories of male encounters and expect us to have hope?’ I hear you cry.

I declared it myself that there were no healthy men.

I have said that line more in my Christian days than in my atheist ones. It seemed I found more brokenness in men, who longed for God yet forgot about goodness, the problem was, I was functioning from a hopeless ache that looked for physical evidence; back-up stories that proved that men weren’t kind. After so much hurt, a back catalogue of dating misdemeanors – how could we have hope?

It’s a line that is spoken not from a bitter edge or a negative personality, but from a heart that has been hurt so much, their lens is now faded to a duller tint and it protects, it keeps out, it stops us from messing around our own hearts and disempowers the ability to be vulnerable. We think this jagged edge of pessimism will be realistic, however vulnerability is your greatest protector and hopelessness is your sharpest opponent to love.

Despite the subtle pains I’ve faced, masked in the phrase of ‘long-suffering’ there are men out there that turn all these stories into redemption, that make the rainbows finally shine through the treacherous thunder.

They are there. Once you clean your own lens.

Sometimes with purpose in your pocket, some self-love and friends that adore you, you wipe the bi-focals yourself. Other times it takes an encounter with a great man.

Here’s where the redemption arrived at my door.

I had men who complimented every detail of my dress. Choosing the very shoes the previous one hated.

I’ve been the reciprocity of his affirmation.

I’ve faced his honesty with an apologetic smile and a change of behavior.

I’ve never had to raise my voice, because he already heard me.

I trusted his next moves.

I’ve not needed half the amount of basic boundaries because the dude finally showed up with his own.

I found men who said sorry in the moment – not a year later.

I’ve had a man sacrifice money, travel, and dreams for the day, just to meet me.

I discovered men who sought advice from a small committee of healthy friends, never seeking comfort from half of a broken world.

I’ve found the mightiness in a man’s humility to tell me the truth even if it might hurt his own pride.

I’ve found men who wanted my soul over a posh duplex.

I no longer had to ask why, because his words were always followed up by action.

I’ve been loved in my complexity as well as my diversity.

I was loved in my mess so much that perfectionism jumped out of the window.

I found security in myself because he didn’t rest on my confidence – he had his own.

I’ve been asked questions, instead of be accused.

If I had a need, it was a pleasure for him to fulfill it thus I was no longer seen as a drain.

I was gently confronted with a soft tongue and a trust to resolve.

I no longer blamed myself for another person’s behaviour. For he took ownership of every step he made.

I was satisfactory to him, without using my body.


These are the redemptive ones. These are the mighty men, who will restore your past experiences. These are the ones who will never speak anything less than highly of you, despite their own pain of losing you.


I promise you: the ‘you’ who is out there wondering if there are any good men. If you did something wrong. If you’re too old. If you’re too young. If you’re not good enough. If you’re too picky. If you’re too too too…

Take off the self-questioning so you won’t question men so much. Take down the wall of protection so you don’t ooze distrust. Take up discernment to another level so that you can avoid one more horror story to the storage unit of poor experiences, and raise up the standard to encounter kind men, gentle men, men with back bones, men with justice hearts yet a teachability to always be able to say sorry and grow. We were never looking for perfection, we were looking for humility. And it had to start with us.

It was never about how good the men were out there, it was always about how much we truly believed we deserved it in the first place.


Originally published on



Restoration of Love

About three and a half years ago, a sequence of events began that would ultimately change my life forever. About that time, I was living with my girlfriend who, in all honesty, I hooked up with in a one night stand. We both grew up in church and knew that how we were living was wrong, but we wanted it to work so we made up every excuse we could to make it seem ok.

Fast-forward to right now. We are still together, we are madly in love with each other, and even greater, we are insanely in love with God. We have huge hearts to help others transform their relationships to allow God to be at the center. How did all of this happen? God. Only God could pour out enough grace in our relationship to completely transform it to one of purity, honor, and covenant.

We allowed God to basically put our relationship in reverse and then slowly rebuild it, all the while changing our beliefs and mindsets. This isn’t an easy process, especially when couples stay together like Libby and I did. We moved out and became physically pure with each other, which meant no sex, no foreplay, and during certain time periods, no kissing and no hand-holding. During this time God taught me I needed to know myself before I could attempt to understand someone else. I had Libby in my “God spot.” I looked to her for everything—joy, happiness, value, confirmation, and even guidance. I had to come to the understanding that only God can be in the God spot. I had to learn what it meant to have an identity as a son to God.


– John, 23, Florida, US

Co-Ruling and Co-Leading With Your Spouse

In my conservative, evangelical background, girls were raised to believe that we weren’t as important as men. Only men got the “good” gifts, like leadership and teaching. Our job as women was to teach children’s Sunday school and bake casseroles for various functions. We were taught to be silent and submissive, and never to question “God’s order” of things.


After marriage, my husband and I began attending a charismatic church where we were introduced to The 10 Lies the Church Tell Women by J. Lee Grady and Why Not Women? by Loren Cunningham, the founder of YWAM. Many of the Scriptures that had been used to teach submission were explained in the Greek, and they were not what we had been taught to believe.


We learned that Christ died to free women from every curse, even those brought on by the Fall (Gal. 3:13). God’s original plan for me was to co-lead and co-rule alongside my husband, and Christ died to restore that order (Gen. 1:26-28). For the first time in my life I felt affirmed—I was just as powerful and as important as a man! It took me a while to accept those truths. I felt rebellious just reading those books. “Submission” had been hammered in hard.


My husband had some un-learning to do, but with a minor in Women’s Studies, he was quick to champion me. He supported me as I led the prayer ministry at our church for seven years, designed an inner healing ministry (which turned out to be the most popular class at church), and eventually coordinated county prayer events under the National Day of Prayer. He now fervently backs women and violently opposes them marrying “below” themselves just to get a husband.


– Holly, 44, California, US

9 Steps To A New Life


Countless people are imprisoned by life-controlling sin and mind-numbing fear. Here are nine strategies on how to escape the grasp of the enemy and win the battle against hopelessness. If you are held hostage by the fear of failure, despair and depression, these steps will help you break free from the chains that hold you captive and win the victory against sin. Get ready to unlock divine opportunities and be released into your destiny!

1. Admit that you’re wrong and that it was no one else’s fault but yours.

2. Ask yourself what the real root cause of your failure is – what’s really wrong?

3. Repent; be truly sorry and change your mind about the core reason why you failed.

4. Clean up your mess; ask forgiveness of everyone and anyone that your failure affected. It doesn’t matter that they failed also. That’s not your business when you are trying to change your own life.

5. Find somebody who’s really strong in the place that you failed and ask them to mentor and disciple you.

6. Ask God to give you strength every day to turn your life around. When you fall down get right back up and don’t feel sorry for yourself.

7. Refuse to give up; don’t make excuses for your failures or defend yourself when you’re corrected. Receive wise people’s input into your life.

8. Forgive yourself because God has forgiven you. Refuse to live in regret of the past.

9. Have a big YES in your life; find a reason to live for Jesus, a purpose that you are willing to die for.

Have these steps spoken to you? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.



Pt. 3: The White Knuckle Approach To Purity


In case you missed part 1 and part 2 of this series, let’s do a quick recap:

At Moral Revolution we’ve come to find that there are three main environments in which we learn about sex. We call them the silent environment, the saturated environment, and the conflicted environment. Why is this important? Well, before we can grow in truth and freedom in our sexuality, we need to see where we’ve come from.

As the Bible puts it, we build knowledge line upon line, and precept upon precept. This means that we’ll stack new knowledge on top of our current understanding and hope it sticks. If we’re honest, most of us, in one way or another, have some shaky foundations when it comes to our sexuality. We need to expose and let go of cracked, slanted, or unstable sexual foundations if we’re going to be able to become a society of sexually stable, healthy, free individuals, couples, and families.

In parts 1 and 2 we discussed the silent environment and the saturated environment. In this blog we’re going to talk about the conflicted environment– the one most often seen in contemporary church cultures.

Imagine a bedroom door that swings open and closed. You get a glimpse of something — an idea, an experience — but before you can figure out what’s going on, the door closes. We see this happen a lot in the church. We’re told, “Once you’re married, you get full access to whatever is behind there. However, before that day comes, you shouldn’t even want to look inside. If you do, for shame! Shame on you for even wanting to know what’s inside of there, you little pervert.”

Then, once you’re married, the door swings wide open and the message changes to, “It’s going to be amazing! Once you get through that door, it will be unbelievable. Euphoric. You’re not just marrying a person, you’re marrying a sex slave. They’re going to do everything you’ve ever imagined. Buckle up, baby, it’s going to be the ride of your life! Don’t worry — you’ll know what to do once you get there.”

“But hey, you’re not married yet. You just stay pure and don’t look in there because God forbid you get a glimpse of something you can’t have, lest you succumb to temptation.”

In this environment, we may feel like we’re living a double life. We want to be pure, but we peek through the door because we have thoughts, desires, and hair growing in new places. We’re being drawn by a natural curiosity about ourselves and others. We feel shame, and yet the desire to know more is insatiable. As we white-knuckle it to our wedding night, we begin to dream up and cling to unrealistic expectations about what sex will be. Unfortunately, while the “hope” we have for sex may help us stay pure in the waiting, it can lead us into unforeseeable disappointment and pain if we’re not careful.

“Although it’s beautiful to have the desire to “follow the rules” and be pure, it’s not enough. We must know why we want and need this in order to be healthy and live purely. The white-knuckle approach to purity may control behaviors, but it can’t resolve a heart condition or change a belief system.” – The Naked Truth About Sexuality

The conflict classically arises when we get married and walk through the door, only to realize that sex does not start as a magical, euphoric experience. We are taken aback, confused. We are hurt that it wasn’t everything we were told it would be. Sometimes there is even shame involved, particularly for women, who have to make a sudden transition from sex being bad or forbidden to good and expected.

As you can see, this environment, even with its celebration of virginity and married-sex, doesn’t fully translate the reality of sex. Sex is a language, not just an experience of pleasure. We learn to give and take within this secret world where a private connection is taking place; our bodies and souls are building memories, creating bonds and being knit together. All of this takes time to grow into — not just sex itself, but yourself and your spouse: body, soul, and spirit. It is a life-long learning adventure, not of a series of one night stands.

In this conflicted environment, the kind of inner monologue we hear is, “I’m just going to try to do what I’m supposed to do, and hopefully I don’t mess it all up.” How many of us have heard something similar to this in the church? “Do it this way. Why? Because it’s the right way.” Our response to this teaching is, “I want to be pure because I need to be pure.”

Although it’s beautiful to have that desire, it’s not enough. We must know why we want and need this in order to be healthy and live purely.

The white-knuckle approach to purity may control behaviors, but it can’t resolve a heart condition or change a belief system.

Striving starts when we operate out of rules without understanding the love and purpose behind them. When we pursue any ideal outside of love, we will never produce fruit that remains. This is why so many of us just want to pray away our sex drives and escape the growing process altogether; it’s too hard to try to do it on our own.

When God gave you your sex drive, He had a plan. He knew that it would take self-control and patience to manage. He knew it would require you to grow in all of the other fruits of the Spirit as well — love for yourself, joy and peace in the waiting, kindness toward yourself and others, good choices, and faithfulness as you trust in Him. He knew that you wouldn’t be able to do it without His help. And He said it was good.

In giving you your sex drive, God had a plan to grow you up, both in maturity and relationship with Him. Because He started this good work in you, He will be faithful to see it completed. He is not going to leave you until you figure out how to be perfect. He is going to teach you how to steward your sex drive in a way that honors Him as well as the person you will eventually commit to for the rest of your life. No matter how hard you pray for it to leave, He won’t take your sex drive away; it was a gift!

So, what are we supposed to do about it? My suggestion is to open the door and look in. Not with shame, not with the guilt that comes when we feel we’re perverted, but taking a healthy glimpse inside for the sake of understanding. Find safe, wise people to dialogue with- ask your questions. Find godly resources and learn. God opened the door long ago and it was the church that shut it, not Him.

Regardless of which environment you may have come from, this is the truth: God always wanted to show us exactly what sex was meant to be. He wanted us to know the power in it. He wanted us to be fully aware, fully alive, and fully connected within ourselves and with our spouse without regret, shame, or pain. Whether you’re starting your journey for the first time today, or continuing to build a legacy that will change your family forever, we bless you. Together we can break the silence, silence the shame, and gain a pure, godly, unadulterated understanding of the naked truth about sexuality.


*Keeping It Hidden Doesn’t Make It Pure (Part 1)
*Overthinking A Simple Encounter (Part 2)
* Resource: The Naked Truth About Sexuality


One Day at a Time

I never learned about love and intimacy and being romantic, nor to love my wife as Christ loved the church. If my parents taught me about that kind of love, I missed it. I heard about love and intimacy and being romantic to objectify females and allow me to seek out sexual gratification. The adult entertainment industry has been in my life since I was approximately 4 years old. From the age of 10 until a week before I graduated with my degree in Biblical Counseling (May 15, 2010), my parents owned an adult book store.

I was the cool guy; the “go to guy” for condoms, etc. Even had teachers in junior high jokingly offer me higher grades if I provided them with an item from my parents store. At the age of 19 I worked there for a year and was exposed to much more than I had ever expected. I had a hard time maintaining long term relationships, seeking out sexual gratification from every female I met or dated. I made it a point to count all my sexual encounters; often forgetting their names and the fact that they had emotions and feelings that I took for granted.

I have been married 4 times, with my current marriage of 14 years. I have been a Christian since 2006 and I love the Lord with all my heart, yet I struggle with internet pornography. I seek it out more than being intimate with my wife. She has caught me and I have sought forgiveness, yet I haven’t repented. This is part of my fight of giving up everything and submitting to God. I have a lack of trust from my youth, still hold a grudge against my step-dad for his alcoholism, and the fact that he physically abused me and I am mad at my mom for not protecting me. I share this for the youth and for the young adults and adults my age or older who still struggle.

There is a reason for everything and there is a reason for God. My struggle continues, because I have allowed my prideful nature to reject all help and this has led to a dysfunctional marriage and family. I never thought that pornography would have any type of effect on me as I grew up, because I was sexually active, yet it has. Even more STD’s are a result of my lifestyle and something I will have with me for the rest of my life. God, nothing is too great for You to handle. Break us down and allow us to see Your glory. Tell us that we can live without these habits and hangups. Speak to our hearts and teach us that intimacy is in the heart and soul, not the sexual organs. Romance is for love, not seeking sexual gratification. Lord, I ask for forgiveness for those feelings I disregarded and fill my heart with conviction and the desire to repent and never look back at this sinful desire. Let me be one of your disciples to get this message out to others and to teach them Your way is the right way and there is no other satisfaction than an intimate relationship with You. In Jesus’ beautiful and glorious name, AMEN.

I pray for everyone who has posted here and who hasn’t. Know that you came to this site for a reason. It is HARD to write here and open yourself up not only to God, but to total strangers, yet remember we are all brothers and sisters in Christ and came here for help and support. Pray out to God for strength and direction. I pray for every visitor, whether the one who struggles, the spouse or significant other of the one who struggles, the victims of sexual abuse and those who are the abusers. Seek God and He will give you shelter. Your testimony is the beginning of healing and restoration. May your heart be heavy no more and may your walk with be more Christ like.


Should I Pursue A Girl Who Is Still Healing From Her Past?

Should I even consider pursuing a girl who has pain and possible trauma from her past? Let me explain: she was bullied, hated, raped and suicidal. If she has not been completely healed from all the inner wounds yet, what should I do if we both like each other a lot?

Thank you so much for sharing your concerns. You may feel like you want to help her in the process, but remember that you can’t fix or heal anyone. You’ll have to be 100% okay with where she’s at, and 100% okay if she stays there. I would encourage you to consider thinking about some questions before entering any dating relationship:

What do I want from a relationship?
Am I ready to date?
What am I looking for in a girl?
What is it about her that interests me?

I personally believe that it is extremely important for us to have an awareness of ourselves before focusing on someone else. One of our speakers, Jason Vallotton, wrote a chapter in the Moral Revolution book that focuses solely on “the pursuit”. In this chapter, he mentions that we know we are ready for a relationship when we can benefit the other person no matter the outcome. I think it would be great for you to ask yourself whether you think you will be a benefit to her and whether she will be a benefit to you.

Jason also mentions that any cracks in a person’s foundation will be magnified with the pressure of another person. I do agree with this statement and would honestly not suggest that two people start dating when deeper healing needs to first take place.

I would also recommend that you talk with those that you are close with about this situation. Whether that’s a parent, leader, pastor, etc., it’s always beneficial to talk with someone who knows you both well, and who can give you their perspective throughout the process.

As for what you should do right now, I think it would be great for you to continue pursuing friendship with this girl. If she gives you a place in her life, then communicate freely about where you’re at, what you’re concerned about, or anything else. There is no reason why you can’t develop your friendship while she goes after healing.

Additional resources:

Jason Vallotton’s chapter (chapter 5) in the Moral Revolution book. I believe this will really help you and give you some clarity on what being in a relationship should look like.

You should also check out the following teaching series on dating by Louie Giglio and Andy Stanley:

The New Rules for Love, Sex, and Dating (4 part series) by Andy Stanley (free)

Boy Meets Girl (6 part series) by Louie Giglio ($1.99 a session)

Who Cares If I’m A Virgin?

“Why should I be a virgin anyway?”

“It’s my life so who cares?” These are questions that ran through my mind as a young teenage girl…all of which were left unanswered, for me to figure out by myself. I had to figure out if it was worth it or not to protect my virginity.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have a value for virginity because I didn’t have a vision for my future. All I ever heard was, “Don’t have sex because it’s wrong outside of marriage.”

No one told me how valuable my virginity was. No one told me that though it would be hard at times to protect my purity in heart, mind and body, it would lead me to freedom, to joy and to an abundant life, without shame or guilt riding on my coat tails.

No one told me what losing my virginity would cost me. No one told me how much pain I would go through later on in life when I was desiring to be married. No one told me that when I’d be sitting across from my boyfriend, he would tell me he couldn’t see himself being with someone who had had sex before. No one told me that not being a virgin would feel like a curse when I was looking for a husband.

I didn’t know there were men in the world who took virginity and purity seriously. (Which there are!) I found out the hard way when some chose to not choose me because I am not a virgin.

I didn’t know the heartbreak I would go through all because of stupid mistakes in my past.

What I did know was that God would love me. I knew that no matter what I did, He would still choose me. I knew that when I was “older” I would start obeying Him again. But at the time I thought, “For now I just want to have fun.” (“Fun” being having sex with whoever I want, whenever I want.) I knew that somehow, no matter what, God would love me when I decided to follow Him again.

And guess what? He did! And He’ll do the same for you!

But guess what? I still had to deal with the consequences of my behavior. And I did.

It was a long process, and let me tell you it is still not easy at times, but I have high hopes for my future, my relationships and my marriage, because of the vision He’s given me.

Virgin or not, God loves you.

He makes all things new.

He is the God who redeems.

He is the God who gives us what we don’t deserve!

My heart in sharing this small bit of my story is this: that someone like you may catch a bit of vision that could change your life for the better. It’s not about scaring you into good choices; it’s about showing you reality, both joyful and difficult. God is able to redeem everything, but it cost Him greatly. In fact, it cost Him everything He had. Don’t take it for granted, but live your life of purity to the fullest, knowing how much it is worth!

— Jessica Kopp (Intern)

It Happens Everywhere


I can still remember the taste of bitter disbelief lingering in my mouth when I found out that stories like Taken [the movie] actually happen. I mean, I knew that girls in rural South-East Asia would be ‘bought’ off their parents for some pitiful amount of money and promises of a good job in the city only to be brought to brothels and forced to work. I knew that girls in India could be doused in acid and forced to beg blind for their master. I knew it happened but only in third world countries, right? Only in countries where people didn’t have great houses or high walls or guns to protect themselves, right? So when I watched ‘Taken’ for the first time I had no idea that [the main girl] Kim’s story was mirrored in real situations. Except most girls don’t have a father like Liam Neeson and they stay lost in the underground rings of sex trafficking.

This realization weighed heavy on my heart for a while and I began to look a little more into it. I was curious as to why this was allowed? Even in America, the land of the free and the home of the brave, human trafficking generates $9.5 billion annually! This is no longer a developing world problem. This is a human problem. And it’s not all naive female tourists who accept a kind stranger’s help. The average age of entry into prostitution for a child victim in the United States is 13-14 years old. Our girls are being taken and enslaved. How does it happen? The kidnappers are predatory experts who know the type of girl they’re looking for. One in three teens on the street will be lured toward prostitution within 48 hours of leaving home.

There are so many organizations that are doing great work in rehabilitating girls who have run away or been rescued. The author of ‘Half the Sky’ (a book encouraging others to join in the fight for women all over the world to be free from oppression) suggests that keeping girls in school will increase their chances of survival. They will be engaged in their schools and make more educated decisions. Rescue and rehabilitation are so necessary, but prevention is essential!

Parents and teachers, you have a vital role in alerting your children to the realities, but avoiding it as a scare tactic. Girls especially need to know, but teach them about positive ways to stay safe. Public places are generally safe places. Teach girls to scream and fight even if threatened by death because kidnappers will usually issue empty threats hoping that the girls will come easily. Stay in cellphone range and sometimes, if feeling uncertain about a situation, even a pretend phone call to mom can dissuade potential predators. Role play at home to prep your girls on what to do in case of abduction. It is my understanding that girls who are prepped to fight are generally not the girls to be abducted.

Our first reaction would be to keep our girls at home in line of sight, but even that will become a prison of sorts and will make running away a more attractive option. And we know who will be there within 48 hours of these precious ones running away. So let’s encourage our girls to be powerful and smart and educated and willing to fight for the freedom of women the world over!

— Aimee Greig (Intern)