Why We Do It.
What We Believe.
Reaching Above Hopelessness and Brokenness Inc., (RAHAB) is unapologetically Christian. We strive to go the places Jesus went and to let His love live through us.
We believe we’re called to collaborate with all sectors of society and with others of different beliefs. We’re blessed to have supporters and advocates with different religious backgrounds who share our belief in the restoration of lives and in empowering those we serve to be all they were meant to be.
We don’t require those we serve to share our beliefs or to worship in a particular way. We weren’t required to do anything before Love and Truth took on flesh and gave Himself to set us free.
Our work is based on a desire to model God’s story of setting people free physically and spiritually. From Genesis to Revelation, from the Red Sea to Calvary, we believe God is in the business of setting people free.
Human Trafficking Overview.
What is human trafficking?
Under federal law every child engaged in a commercial sex act is a victim of sex trafficking, while adults induced into acts through force, fraud or coercion are considered victims. The difference between sex trafficking and labor trafficking is simply the type of work victims are required to do. While “trafficking” may seem to imply movement, no movement is actually required. RAHAB does not believe any child wants to be prostituted when she grows up. While the law distinguishes between prostitution and human trafficking, we don’t make a distinction in the women we serve.
What is the solution?
Truth and Love. In the law enforcement system, this means collecting the facts and presenting them in court. It means treating people with compassion, so that victims are more likely to disclose what is happening. But the law alone won’t end human trafficking. While it may act as a deterrent to some extent, mostly it shows us what is wrong with a situation that has already happened.
To truly end trafficking, communities need to put Truth and Love into action in concrete ways. We need to seek out and love our neighbors so that no one feels invisible. We need to build real relationships, offering the vulnerable someone to confide in. We need to offer a safe place to call home. We need to speak Truth to counteract trafficker’s lies. We need to educate to identify trafficking and to prevent it. We need to take women and children off the market. We need to eliminate the demand. This is the work RAHAB is doing.
Is pornography connected to sex trafficking?
Yes, in several ways. When pornography is produced or shared for material gain and either involves a child or involves an adult through force, fraud or coercion, that in itself meets the definition of sex trafficking. Those who view pornography, believing it is harmless, are revictimizing these women and children and increasing the demand for additional victimization. In many cases, pornography viewing escalates either to paying for sex or to viewing more extreme content. Traffickers also use pornography to groom those they target for victimization and to reel in customers.
Why so few prosecutions?
The standard a criminal court requires to find a trafficker guilty, “beyond a reasonable doubt,” is very high, and prosecutors often want to know they can reach this standard before bringing charges. To increase prosecutions, victims need to be in safe places where they can get healthy and work with investigators, rather than getting snatched back up in a trafficker’s net.
In addition, many law enforcement agencies and prosecutors’ offices are short on resources to address trafficking. When an investigator is tasked with too many cases simultaneously, or if no one is assigned to address this atrocity, cases cannot go anywhere. Additional barriers include internet service providers and social media entities who encrypt information, notify traffickers of requests for information or who don’t retain necessary data. Jurisdictional issues, particularly with regard to internet services in locations where the United States does not have Mutual Legal Aid Treaties, create more challenges.
Should child victims be charged in connection with sex trafficking?
It feels like the automatic answer should be no, and other groups are lobbying to eliminate the ability for the 27 states who allow children to be charged to take victims into custody. The problem then becomes under what legal authority can law enforcement take a child from a trafficker? Also, Ohio’s juvenile justice system is restorative in nature. Kids who are charged don’t automatically go to detention. The system is rehabilitative and connects kids to services like mentors and safe places. Prostitution charges against kids trigger Ohio’s Safe Harbor provisions, then charges go away when the program is complete. Before the current mechanism that allows children to be taken from traffickers and triggers services can be eliminated, another would need to be put in place.