In 1992, at age 14, Holly Austin Smith became the victim of a child sex trafficker. She got to know the man while hanging out in her local New Jersey shopping mall.
Over time, he convinced her that he could help her become a model and actress. The youngster naively believed him, ran away from home, and was forced to work as a prostitute.
Smith was soon rescued by a policeman who saw she was underage. She is now a survivor advocate who advises parents and schools to teach kids to become more media literate so they can avoid situations like hers.
In The Washington Times, Smith notes that “traffickers are fully aware of what popular culture is telling your teens” by promoting images of fame, over-sexualized young girls, and products they claim will make their lives fulfilling. If teens can learn how and why images are marketed a certain way, Smith thinks they may avoid the pitfalls of the poor decision she made.
Teach your kids that their worth doesn’t come from worldly things, but rather from being loved by God and by you.
Imitate what is good. (3 John 1:11)
Father, protect our children from those who would harm them.