The shocking reality is that human trafficking truly exists in Kansas and is sadly considered a “supplier” state by traffickers across the nation. Many of our seemingly “safe” Topeka neighborhoods and those in rural communities are not exempt. Traffickers (spotters, groomers and recruiters) have been found in our schools, churches, shopping areas and also in our homes with those having unguarded cell phone access. Most of our trafficked victims share multiple stories of childhood physical and sexual abuse, many having lived within the foster system and experienced multiple runaways. The Girl in the Attic depicts an all too common story of a vulnerable young woman within our city today.
So where can we find the answer to such tragedies? In Isaiah 61, “… because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners…to comfort all who mourn, …to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” Restore Hope, the human trafficking division of the Topeka Rescue Mission, brings help and hope through collaborating efforts of community and faith-based groups. These groups focus on victim interventions and stabilization to build bridges for life changing restorations in the promise of what God has planned for their lives. †