When I lived in South Carolina, I would drive home to Maryland regularly. I would pack up my little ones into my minivan, and we’d hit the highway. Most times, I left in the very early morning and drove into the afternoon. On this one particular trip, I left Maryland in the late afternoon for our eight-hour trip. My children were toddlers at the time, about four and two, and on the way back to South Carolina, I stopped at a Popeyes to use the bathroom in Virginia at about 11 PM. The restaurant was empty except for a group of young girls with a man who appeared to be in his late 20s. The girls looked like they were 15 or 16. They had on pajama pants and t-shirts. Some had their hair wrapped up. I glanced at the table as I walked into the restaurant and headed straight to the bathroom with my little ones. I thought it was strange for a group of teenagers to be at a restaurant in the middle of nowhere without an adult, but I was in a rush to get in and get out with my babies so I kept it moving. I’m a paranoid mom, so when my children were toddlers I would always bring them into the bathroom stall with me regardless of the stall’s size. So as I was using the restroom, I had my four and two year olds standing in front of me with their backs to the locked bathroom stall. Shortly after we entered the bathroom, two of the teenage girls entered the bathroom. They stood outside of the stall just talking and giggling to themselves. I had a very awkward feeling. Initially, I thought they were going to rob me. I prepared to fight my way out of the bathroom with my babies. I finished using the bathroom, let my kids use the bathroom, and got ready for whatever these girls were going to bring. Thankfully, they didn’t do anything except watch us. We washed our hands with the two girls standing there, and I quickly left the restaurant and locked ourselves in the van while I strapped my children back into their car seats. It was a very eerie encounter, and in hindsight, I believe that the man those girls were with sent them in the bathroom to possibly snatch my children.
I am sharing this story with you because I am seeing a lot of human trafficking stories circulating on social media. The Bible admonishes us to watch and pray and to be wise as serpents. Be vigilant. Watch your children. Monitor their social media accounts and screen time. Vet their friends. Parenting in the 21st Century has become such that some parents feel like they are violating their children’s rights or privacy if they ask questions or vet their friends. I feel differently. God has given us stewardship over these precious human beings. In many cases, we only get one chance to protect them and steer them in the right direction. Teach young girls what real love really looks like and tell them that any older man who’s interested in a teenager has problems. Teach them the red flags so they won’t become easy prey to these sex traffickers.
Here’s another mom’s story about a possible encounter with human traffickers
What are some of your experiences, thoughts or tips?
One Reply to “My Encounter with Possible Human Traffickers”
When our kids were younger they were attached to my hips one on the right and one on the left, I never allowed them to go into public restrooms alone. When we lived in Colmar Manor, MD there were three mothers that looked out for each others children our children were never outside alone and they were in the house minute the streets came on.
Working with Sister Brooks and the Missionary Society for the last 2 yrs has truly opened my eyes to human trafficking in ways I never imagined. Human trafficking has become a billion dollar business and has become more of a demand than selling drugs and guns. In Prince Georges County alone this is a huge issue the numbers will take your breath away. Churches need to partnership together with other organization to find ways to combat this epidemic.
Everyday we hear or read about our young girls and boys going missing granted some may have run away but I don’t believe all have run away. Human traffickers prey on our children starting as early infancy, they look for the weak, those that may not have a stable home life and those looking for love in all the wrong places.
It breaks my heart but most of all it makes me angry when I read about grown rusty dusty man taking advantage of an 8 year old baby girl to pleasure himself and she will be traumatized for the rest of her life and her innocents is gone something she can never get back.
Lauren sorry for the long comment but this is near and dear to my heart. God did not create us to be put into slavery for the selfish and evil desires of rusty dusty men and women who use others especially babies.