Most Of Them Are Mothers


“I wonder what story [the children] will be told about their mother. Will they one day learn that she was forced to sell her body?”


Most of them are mothers.

That is something I became aware of for the first time this weekend when I opened up our research and started scrolling through the numbers. Each section showing the year of birth, the way they were trafficked, the reason they were trafficked, and how many children they have. And then there are the ones who are pregnant. Seven girls right at this moment, their information reading something like this:

1990 pregnant
1994 pregnant
1987 pregnant
1993 pregnant
1989 pregnant
1983 pregnant
1979 pregnant

Each a woman, each bringing a child into this world not by their choice but because of their abuse, having left home because of vulnerabilities such as poverty, forced marriages, or a hope for a better future for their children.

Trafficked into prostitution. Held hostage. Receiving death threats.

Then there are the ones who aren’t out. The one who hopes to buy a house to live in with her son, the one who got pregnant as a young teenager, the one who saves every bit of money she earns to send back to her country so her daughter can go to school.

Most of them are mothers.

There was one with Barbie doll features, who told me she was going to leave prostitution because she was pregnant. The next time I saw her, she spoke softly, saying she lost the baby.

I wonder for their children. I wonder what story they will be told about their mother. Will they one day learn that she was forced to sell her body? Or that she decided to do it because she thought it would give them a chance for a better life? Will they hear the story of their birth, of how they were delivered in a safe-house far away from their biological family?

This last week a woman who gave her life to Jesus told her story of prostituting for the money and for acceptance and for love. She has children, and she acknowledged that by telling her story, she would one day have to explain to her children what she had done. They would have to know.

Most of them are mothers.

Often in North America, those who raise awareness about sex trafficking use the tagline: “She could be your daughter.”

She could be, but most likely she won’t be. Statistically she is more likely to be the daughter of someone else, someone who won’t have the access to opportunities you may have to protect your daughter. She is more likely to come from a country or a culture that doesn’t place her value higher than the money that can be made off of her. She is more likely to come from a society that says her sexuality is not connected to her soul, and thus is a marketable product.

She is someone’s daughter, but it is also very likely that she is someone’s mother.


Editor’s Note: Hi Shelovelys … Our beloved Saskia loves and serves these women in Amsterdam like a mama. She raises her own support, so if your heart may be moved to give something to support her presence on the streets, you can do it right here. Please indicate that it’s for [Saskia Wishart, The Netherlands.]

Image Credit: Raw (flickr) + Design (Tina Francis)