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Breaking the Cycle: The Untold Story of Young Men and Human Trafficking

Updated: Oct 18, 2023

🚨 Unveiling the Untold Story of Young Men and Human Trafficking! Join me in exploring the critical issue that demands our attention. Let's break the cycle together! 💪

Two months before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, I found myself in Houston, Texas, addressing a group of human sex trafficking survivor advocates and leaders in the prevention space. As I sat before them, fielding questions, and sharing my own experiences, something struck me like a bolt of lightning.

It wasn't the first time I had engaged in such conversations, and that was the problem. Throughout the country, in countless similar gatherings, the topic of men involved in trafficking had been broached repeatedly. But the responses, well-intentioned though they may be, often boiled down to one stark solution: lock them away forever or worse.

Before we proceed, let's be clear about one thing. Human sex trafficking is an abhorrent crime, and no one should ever be coerced or forced into this nightmarish world. No one should choose this life. Yet, as someone who has lived through it, I understand how people, especially young men, find themselves ensnared in this cycle. Trauma, abuse, poverty, self-hate, and peer pressure are just a few of the reasons.

Picture a young boy in elementary school. When asked the cliché question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" not one raises his hand and says, "I want to be a pimp." So, what changes as they grow older, enter their teenage years, and become young adults? The answer, in no small part, lies in the music they listen to, the media they consume, the poverty they face, and the lack of opportunities and resources available to them.

"What do you want to be when you grow up?"

As I sat in that meeting in Texas, a lightbulb went off in my head. I envisioned a world where no young man would ever see this lifestyle as appealing. I realized that the key to addressing this issue lies in education, prevention, and awareness. But it's not just any education; its education directed at young men to prevent them from becoming traffickers.

To my knowledge, such education doesn't exist. So, inspired by that meeting, I returned to my hotel room determined to create a tool that could resonate with young men who are most susceptible to becoming involved in trafficking. I wanted to reach them before the idea even crossed their minds.

These kids are someone's grandsons, nephews, children. By reaching and teaching these young men, we don't just save their lives; we prevent the dozens of women they might encounter from becoming victims or even being lured into this dark world.

In the fight against trafficking, we must address all angles of the problem. Incarceration has not solved America's issues. It's time to shift our focus towards prevention and education. The Walk With Me Impact curriculum, which centers on educating young men about awareness, prevention, and intervention to stop them from becoming traffickers, was born out of this necessity.

It's high time we break the cycle, create meaningful change, and protect the vulnerable. Let's work together to forge a brighter, safer future for our youth—one where they never consider the unthinkable as an option. The path to change begins with education and awareness, and it's a path we must all tread together.

To learn more about Walk With Me Impact and our Youth Mentoring Curriculum attend one or more of our upcoming Information Sessions. Click here to view the available dates.


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