News and Events
Institute on Law, Religion, and Ethics Hosted Human Trafficking Discussion
Over 1 million people worldwide are trafficked into the sex industry each year. The statistic may be difficult to comprehend, but the individual stories behind the numbers are gripping and tragic. A discussion about one woman’s journey out of the sex industry was hosted by the Institute on Law, Religion, and Ethics on Mar. 21.
Moon, a woman from Burma who was trafficked at a very young age, participated in the discussion as well as Mark and Christa Crawford, who have spent the last six years helping women in Thailand and Burma out of prostitution.
At only 12 weeks old, Moon’s mother her sold into slavery. Moon was later trafficked into prostitution at the age of 13, tricked into working at a brothel, and raped over 100 times. Four years ago, Moon was rescued by the members of the International Justice Mission (IJM) and given the means to a new way of life by Mark and Christa Crawford.
The Crawfords joined IJM in 2001, when they moved from Southern California to Chiang Mai, Thailand, to direct the Thailand office. Christa, a graduate of Harvard Law School, had been working in corporate law, while Mark had been pastoring a church and completing a master’s degree at Fuller Theological Seminary. After a mission trip to Asia, they felt a call to minister to prostituting women.
As the Crawfords ministered to women young and old, they found many who voluntarily prostituted themselves because they had few other options and needed to support their parents and children. Taking this to heart, the Crawfords started another outreach, a café called Just Food, Inc., representing “Justice and Food,” which employs former prostitutes or those at risk of joining. The following year, the Crawfords launched a new venture, a combined counseling and vocational training program called Garden of Hope.
In their six years of living and working in Thailand, the Crawfords have helped countless women recover from abuse, grow in Christ, and find stable work outside of the sex industry. Moon now works with them, rescuing others who were trapped like her. She travels to the U.S. to share her story in hopes that it will inspire others to fight against injustice worldwide.