When more people are equipped with the truth and an informed understanding about sex trafficking, we can better act to prevent it from happening in our own communities! 

RAHAB believes that knowledge is power — that truth is essential …

So every Monday, we’re committed to sharing myths and facts with our social media followers. Here are a few “Mythbreakers” for you — and more are available via Instagram and Facebook as well — so start following us today if you are not!

  • MYTH: If the trafficked person consented to be in their initial situation, then it cannot be sex trafficking or against their will because they chose it.
  • FACT: Initial consent to a commercial sex act prior to acts of force, fraud, or coercion (or if the victim is a minor in a sex-trafficking situation) is not relevant to the crime, nor is payment.
  • MYTH: Ohio is the fourth-largest hub for sex trafficking.
  • FACT: This statistic is generated from the National Trafficking Hotline, which reflects the number of calls received, and is not reflective of cases identified outside of its scope. Therefore, it does not reflect any statewide or community data collected by law enforcement.
  • MYTH: Trafficking requires the movement of a victim.
  • FACT: Movement of a victim is not a requirement in the legal definition of sex trafficking.
  • MYTH: Most trafficking victims are kidnapped and held against their will.
  • FACT: At RAHAB, we are often asked, “Where are the hot spots for traffickers?” Any place that a child or teen has a smartphone and privacy in using that device should be considered a hot spot. Instead of kidnapping, it is more common for traffickers to use psychological tactics to “date,” recruit and groom their victims. Once the child begins voicing objections to a trafficker, the situation often escalates to violence. However, the grooming process began long before it reaches this point — so much so, that some individuals believe they are actually in love with the trafficker (often referred to as a boyfriend).

Knowing what is fact and what is fiction is integral to fighting and preventing sex trafficking everywhere. Your support keeps us raising awareness and making the truth known!

Because it’s Women’s History Month, we want to honor one amazing woman …

Rahab, from the Bible. 

Let’s take a look at who she is, what she did, and how RAHAB Ministries reflects her life. 

  1. The book of Joshua tells us she lived in Jericho (part of the Promised Land) and describes her both as a prostituted woman and a heroine …  

As the Israelites (who had spent the past 40 years in the desert) were on the brink of entering the Promised Land, Joshua sent two spies ahead to scout the city of Jericho prior to his attack. The spies found Rahab’s home and stayed there.

After the king heard rumors about these spies, he ordered Rahab to turn them over. Instead, she bravely hid the men on her roof, telling the spies she was committed to protecting, in essence: “We know the Lord has given you this land and that Jericho is utterly helpless and hopeless. Your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below” … and she surrendered herself to the Lord’s mercy.

She asked the spies to spare her life and her family when Israel attacked the city, just as she had spared the two spies. Before they left, they promised to protect Rahab and gave her a scarlet cord to hang from her window. Safety would be guaranteed only to those inside Rahab’s home.

On the seventh day, Joshua’s army advanced and marched seven times around Jericho’s thick walls. Suddenly, the Israelites let out a tremendous shout, and the entire wall surrounding Jericho collapsed. Every part of the city and its inhabitants were destroyed — except for Rahab and her family.

“The men who had been spies went in and brought out Rahab, her father, mother, brothers, and all the other relatives who were with her. They moved her whole family to a safe place near the camp of Israel” (Joshua 6:23 NLT).

  1. She is mentioned in the Old and New Testaments, and her story inspired the name of our ministry (Reaching Above Hopelessness And Brokenness).

In Matthew 1 in the New Testament, Rahab is identified as part of the family tree of Jesus. We love this.

Rahab became a part of the Israelite nation. She married an Israelite named Salmon and had a son named Boaz.

Her son Boaz married the Moabite woman Ruth.

Boaz and Ruth had a son named Obed.

Obed was the father of Jesse, who was the father of David.

Rahab, a woman with a past, became the great, great-grandmother of David — the man who God said was “a man after my heart.”

As the entire story of Scripture progresses, Rahab becomes a part of the lineage of Jesus, who came to earth as a man to make salvation possible for everyone.

RAHAB Ministries serves as the disruptive hands and feet of Jesus, committed to reaching anyone impacted by sex trafficking and providing the answer for eradicating it while healing our culture through expertise and a proven cutting-edge approach.  

What can we learn from the history of Rahab?

  • Hold tightly to the safety and salvation that the Lord provides.
  • Have courage enough to stand up for God.
  • Hope for a future. Do not allow your past the power to keep you from the good plans God has for you. 

Rahab’s life reminds us that no choice we have ever made, no scars ever inflicted, can keep us from the saving grace of Jesus.

The staff and volunteers at RAHAB love sharing the message that nothing can separate us from Jesus. Not our past. Not our shame. Not our guilt.

 

Valentine’s Day 2021.

While it may be “typical” to imagine a romantic dinner, a gift of chocolate-covered strawberries, or exchanging red-and-pink-colored greeting cards with a loved one for the holiday …

Our outreach teams were in strip clubs doing their typical ministry that day: 

Going into dark spaces, disrupting the work that happens in such settings, meeting women where they are, LOVING women where they are, showing them their worth and dignity, and providing hot meals with homemade Valentine’s cookies for dessert.

Afterward, RAHAB’s Director of Outreach received a simple text from one of our friends … it read, “Good morning. Thank you for loving me.”

Love doesn’t have to be extravagant. Love just has to be real.  

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 says it is “patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

Together with RAHAB, you are shining Truth and Love, Hope and Beauty, into women’s hearts … we are grateful, and so are they!

    Child sex trafficking is a booming — disgusting — multi-million-dollar business globally … but it’s also happening right here, right now, in Summit, Stark, and other surrounding counties.

    And RAHAB is dedicated to ending it and restoring its survivors.

    We’re not only running Rebecca’s Place — our local juvenile safe home for 11- to 17-year-olds who have escaped exploitation and are now on a journey toward restoration — we are also in the process of expanding our Minor Mentoring program into Cuyahoga County …  

    Our existing initiative in Summit County has successfully served more than 150 youth since 2015!

    • Through trauma-informed mentoring, consistency, prayer, and acceptance without expectations, youth participating in this program become empowered and confident.
    • This confidence and empowerment allow them to begin viewing themselves as worthy and valuable and gives them a deep-down dignity they’ve never experienced.
    • In fact, the transformational relationship set in motion by mentors likes ours is one of the primary interventions in sex trafficking today.  

    Through our partnership with Summit County Juvenile Court’s Restore Court docket, RAHAB has been providing mentoring to children and teens who need hope and healing. And we’re humbled and grateful to be part of this effort — the first juvenile human trafficking docket certified by the Ohio Supreme Court.

    By God’s grace, our success in Summit County has opened doors for expansion into Cuyahoga County by partnering with its Juvenile Court’s Safe Harbor Docket.  

    The mentoring program offers a long-term commitment that continues even when the youth are no longer involved in the judicial system. In addition, we are able to mentor youth referred from other community agencies such as CSB, Children’s Hospital, and the FBI.

    Thanks to your prayers and generous giving, we are stepping forward boldly in faith to seize the opportunities before us to mentor and serve youth across Northeast Ohio and continue all of RAHAB’s outreaches. 

    Children are desperate for help, hope, and a relationship that will help transform their future. May God bless you for playing a role in this new expansion of our proven-effective work!