Several years ago, I sat in seminary chapel listening to a ministry leader talk about rescuing young girls from sex trafficking. I left that chapel stunned by what I’d heard.

A couple of years later I sat at breakfast with a ministry founder who passionately searched for young girls who needed to be saved from human trafficking. She elaborated on the ways young girls are lured into dangerous situations by “Romeo” traps. She is the one who helped me see the realities of this tragedy¾taking place all around us, no matter the geographic or socioeconomic location.

My awareness of this worldwide situation grew when I participated in discussions of Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into the Opportunity for Women Worldwide (book and movie) during a doctoral course. Over time, I learned of different organizations, news stories, and the discovery that my former spiritual formation mentor had begun a new organization helping those who have been trafficked.

In recent days, we’ve learned more about the sex trafficking cult, NXIVM, and how this reality affects all layers of society.

I encourage you to listen to my conversation with her in this episode of The Bearing Life™ podcast. Rebecca Jowers, founder of Poiema Foundation, offers great insight into the work she and her volunteers do to educate the public and raise awareness about sexual abuse, sex trafficking, and sexual exploitation. She helps us understand ways we can stay aware, help empower, and protect the vulnerable in our areas, families, and lives.