MAKING SENSE OF THE MALE DEMAND FOR THE SEX TRADE

Webinar: Wednesday October 22 @ 10:00GMT / 11:00CET / 12:00 EET

What can be done to reduce the male demand for sexual services? This was a question that I put to a group of five men as we met over dinner during the last EFN Bridge conference in Bucharest in 2015. Despite generating a lot of discussion, the conversation kept reverting to the need for men to reduce the demand simply by stopping buying sex and using pornography.

While encouraging men to curb their sexual appetites would go a long way to reducing the demand for sexual services, in the end it is only a reactive and negative response which evidently does not generate much interest. It also does not address the cultural dynamics that undermine masculine identity and sexuality, nor the socio-economic power dynamics that undergird the global multi-billion-dollar sex trade.

When it comes to combating the sex trade, are men only the enemy, or are they both actors and victims of a culture that endorses and embraces sexual violence?

This webinar serves to help the Christian community understand the cultural and socio-economic power dynamics that play into the male demand for sexual services. It shows how the gospel of Jesus Christ overcomes these power dynamics and points men to an authentic biblical masculine identity which is oriented towards social transformation. Moreover, the webinar is about embracing another story for men, a story in which men are not to be benched to the side-lines of intervention, but are brought right into the center where they can make a lasting difference alongside the many faithful women who serve in that space.

For many, this is not a story that is easy to embrace. For it is men who abuse, men who abduct, men who exploit, men who buy, and men who dominate the trade in human lives. Thankfully, not all men are like this, and many still have come to combat human trafficking as leaders, speakers, police officers, administrators, business managers and entrepreneurs. Still, it seems that violence against women is largely classed as a women’s issue, that too many men shy away from. As God’s people, can we find a way through the impasse and arouse the Christian community, both men and women, to make a stand together?

Stephen has spent the last six years researching the demand for sexual services in Spain. He is a Doctor of Ministry graduate from Fuller Theology Seminary in Pasadena, CA. Currently in Australia, Stephen is a sought-after speaker in schools and churches, giving presentations and seminars on the global sex trade.

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Rev Dr Stephen B Morse

Don’t Shut Your Eyes on Social Media

We are so excited to announce the release of this year’s Don’t Shut Your Eyes video!You will remember last year that we were able to work together to see our video reach 596,791 people online as well as being played in churches all across Europe.  This year we have chosen social media as our theme.  We hope you love the video as much as we do.

We need as many partners as possible to get involved in this campaign so we can make a huge European impact!

Here’s what we’d love for you to do.
  1. Sign up for our Thunderclap and get as many people as possible to as well.  A thunderclap is a technology we are using to gather people’s permission to post our video on social media all at the same time on EU Anti-Trafficking Day (October 18).  We have up until October 18 at 9:00 BST / 10:00 CET / 11:00 EET to get as many people as possible registered.
  2. Pray and fast on Wednesday October 4 where we will unite to pray specifically for the campaign and for our churches to get involved.   Pray with colleagues, even better, pray with EFN partners near you. Or join with partners internationally.
  3. Ask your friends to sign up for the Thunderclap. It’s simple, there’s no risk of spam or security threats, let’s make a noise together.
With our combined effort, we really do have an opportunity right now to make a huge social media impact across Europe to encourage people to open their eyes to the realities of human trafficking and what to do about it. We also have a huge opportunity to help our churches get involved in these issues we care about so much.

Freedom through business – what?

   freedom bussinessss                                                                                                               

“Freedom Business.” It’s not often that we see those words in the same sentence, IN THAT ORDER. Sure, “Business Freedom” or “freedom in business” is something that every entrepreneur is chasing, but Freedom Business? What does that even mean?

A Freedom Business is a very special business that exists for one main purpose: to fight human trafficking or commercial exploitation by creating real economic change in peoples’ lives, freeing them from their bondage. That bondage can look different depending on where a specific Freedom Business has concentrated their work, but all of these businesses have one thing in common. They are putting people first.

This approach is completely counter-intuitive to the business world, which has long regarded “the bottom line profit” as the end-all measuring stick of a company’s success. In fact, a quick Google search of “freedom business” returns a mish-mash of polarized results. On one side is the “get rich or die trying” camp, which equates freedom (from work) through money. On the other side we find the Freedom Business Alliance.

The Freedom Business Alliance is a group dedicated to strengthening the global community of Freedom Businesses. Through training, mentoring and offering resources and networking opportunities, the FBA provides Freedom Businesses a place to be nurtured, grow and share ideas and visions for the future with other like-minded companies. Not only that, but by joining these companies together the FBA also helps to shine a brighter light on the issues of sex trafficking and sex-slavery.

Who We Are

As a member of the Freedom Business Alliance, Made In Freedom provides high quality, Fair Trade, 100% organic cotton printed textiles. This includes custom t-shirts, hats, bags of all kinds and even pillow cases! We sell custom printed corporate apparel to businesses, conferences and trade fairs, fashion stores and more. Our products carry the World Fair Trade Organization seal, and are produced from Global Organic Trade Standard (GOTS) sourced cotton. However, what really sets us apart is best described in our USP.

“We Print Hope”

Our textiles are not printed by machines, they are made by women who have been impacted in one way or another by the sex-trade industry of Kolkata India. Through our partner Freeset, these women have been offered a job, paying well above the minimum wage of India, giving them dignity in their communities, hope for their future and a better life for themselves and their families. The change that takes place has lasting impacts that reach beyond the women themselves, but into the community itself, breaking the endless spiral of poverty into the sex trade industry and weakening the grip it has on the community. That is how “We Print Hope.”

You Can Get Involved Today

If you are a business looking for printed uniforms, an event planner looking for a textile printer to partner with, or a shop owner searching for a social justice option to offer to your customers please contact us today. Each and every order with Made In Freedom directly effects lives of people all over the world, from the organic cotton growers to the women employed in India. It’s good for you, good for the environment and most importantly it’s good for the community of women being freed through an economic solution to an economic problem. Together we can work toward our vision of a world free from sex-trafficking and slavery, one order at a time.

For more information about the Freedom Business Alliance, Made In Freedom and Freeset click
the links below.

www.freedombusinessalliance.com

www.madeinfreedom.de/en

www.freesetglobal.com

What does it take to help Anna?

Once upon a time, Anna was born into a family that struggled to survive. As a result, she didn’t get the parenting she needed, she misbehaved and began to drop out of school. What she really needed was love and security. Her dreams were answered by Nick, the most amazing rich boyfriend. Except of course, he wasn’t amazing at all. To please him and try to keep him, Anna found herself selling her body. And then the horror really began. One day on the streets, she met a Christian ministry who promised to help her. She didn’t believe them. How could they really help?

Anna was whisked away to another country, and the sexual exploitation began again. This time, she ended up in hospital. The nurses stared, they wondered what the real story was, but they didn’t say anything. Anna returned to the street. Meanwhile, the politicians decided to legalise prostitution and cut funding police efforts to spot trafficking, so Anna was even more vulnerable. Another Christian ministry promised they could help her. Really? Freedom and normality seemed such distant dreams. Again, Anna did not believe them.  The horror continued.

This story is repeated again and again across Europe. This story, and other similar ones, were created at EFN’s first big conference in 2013. We spent the whole time together looking at “Anna” and all the reasons why what happened happened. We saw all the opportunities where the story could have been dramatically changed if only there had been correct intervention. We considered why Anna would not dare to believe that she could be free from exploitation.

And then we saw what was needed.

It takes many different people to prevent exploitation. (Anna needed good children’s and youth work, and school teachers and medical staff equipped to know what to look out for. And people working with future Nicks. And campaigners to help politicians understand the best policies to stop trafficking).

It takes many different people to find Anna and help her believe life could change. (Intercessors, outreach workers, safe house staff, counsellors, a welcoming church to be family for the long haul, legal advisors, teachers, business people and more…)

No one ministry can prevent exploitation. But, by linking together, we form planks of wood that form a bridge. It’s a bridge that we can help Anna to see. The path to freedom may still be long but it suddenly seems possible.

Collaboration and networking spread good practice and save money and effort for us all.

Collaboration and networking mean that we can do things together, e.g. sophisticated campaigning, top quality training or prayer events that we could never do on our own.

Most of all, collaboration and networking mean we can build a solid bridge to freedom.

No matter how good we are, one ministry on its own is not enough for Anna.

A plank of wood is just a plank. But planks of wood linked securely together make a bridge that Anna can trust and dare to walk on.

And that’s why EFN’s conference is called Bridge.

Julia

Julia Doxat-Purser is the Socio-Political Representative & Religious Liberty Coordinator for the European Evangelical Alliance, wherein she inspires and facilitates excellent Christian engagement in society. Her particular interests are advocacy and enabling others to be effective in ministry.

With One Voice – Can They Hear Us?

There’s so much I want to say to people about human trafficking!  Stop judging or blaming the victims.  Stop ignoring this crime. Stop cutting the public services which are exactly the ones that could stop exploitation from happening in the first place. And more positively, come on Church, our God wants to transform these lives, and He invites us to help.

But what if EFN spoke with one voice and invited the wider Church to join us?  What if we as EFN partners locally, nationally or even across the continent began to think, pray and plan so that our voice was strategic, and our voice would be heard? What if we encouraged and helped each other to be clear, positive and effective so that our message would be noticed above all the noise?

What if, when a police chief or politician spoke about human trafficking, we were ready to respond with our stories and expertise, thanks or challenge?

What if every newspaper article on exploitation got a letter from EFN partners or friends in response that would end up on the letter’s page? Or the phone-in programme got us calling in with gracious and clear input?

What if every local public meeting – with the police or politicians or concerned residents – had EFN friends or partners prayerfully present and ready and able to speak up?

What if we did even more to speak with one voice on EU Anti-Trafficking Day or World Women’s Day? Vigils, marches, street theatre, social media campaigns, youth events, art exhibitions? Our combined creativity has so much potential.

What if we prayerfully worked out the most important messages and language for all of us to repeat as much as possible until change came?

And what if we prayed with one voice, lifting up all the needs and challenges, the individuals we know and one another? And we invited churches locally to join us?

Bridge 2017, our conference 16-20 October, will be an opportunity to bring our voices together as we pray, plan and learn from one another.   Our prayer is that, afterwards, we will increasingly speak With One Voice.

Julia

Julia Doxat-Purser is the Socio-Political Representative & Religious Liberty Coordinator for the European Evangelical Alliance, wherein she inspires and facilitates excellent Christian engagement in society. Her particular interests are advocacy and enabling others to be effective in ministry.