The Excelsior Springs Business Women of Missouri will host the presentation of Exodus Cry, a response to the sex trafficking crisis at 7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 14, at the Oaks Apartments.

While many believe the sex trafficking issue to be too large of an issue to conquer, Jennifer Guthrie, who served on the Exodus Cry staff until its recent move to Sacramento, California, said much of the issue comes down to education. Education on what created and sustains the industry and ultimately, education on what the industry truly is.

“No woman chooses to be treated this way,” she said. “They may have come into the industry out of desperate need to pay the bills ... once they’re in it, they quickly learn it is not anything like Hollywood made it look to be.”

Exodus Cry responds to this pandemic with a three-prong approach.

- Focus on social reform by creating films, videos and various types of media to shift the culture and mindsets fueling sex trafficking.

- Work to advocate for laws addressing sexual exploitation, both nationally and internationally.

- Engage in local, national and international outreach efforts to those in the sex industry.

According to the organization’s website, Exodus Cry came out of a prayer meeting when the sex trafficking issue prompted founder Benjamin Nolot to pioneer an organization that would combine prayer and practical ministry to see sex trafficking and slavery ended around the world.

Nolot, a filmmaker by trade, decided to use his skillset to raise awareness and address issues in the culture.

“We need to hold up a mirror in front of ourselves to see what we’re really doing and the films will explain that,” Guthrie said.

The organization simply works to help communities understand the big-picture narrative. They fight against the pro-sex worker movement that demands sex trafficking. The ultimate goal, Guthrie said, involves a complete abolition of the industry.

Changing laws

The organization wants to help change laws. The work to change the laws governing the pornography industry prompted the organization’s move to Sacramento, the capital of the state that created most of the world’s pornography.

“We have not addressed the male culture in the United States and around the world and sadly, the porn that is being produced in California is what every other country is watching,” Guthrie said

Exodus Cry also works with other organizations in their quest to stop sex trafficking. In 2018 organizations helped to implement the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act, and the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act, a set of bills that hold online realities accountable for third-party prostitution ads.

They also work with communities to help change laws regarding prostitution. Guthrie said they educate on not charging the sex-worker victims for prostitution. Rather, the organization holds a sex-worker solicitor should be charged with felonies. The ultimate goal, she said, would be to change the culture.

Canada, Israel, France and Northan Ireland have already changed their laws, she said.

Outreach

The organization also reaches out to sex workers, providing resources to help rebuild their lives.

The organization left a group in the Kansas City area to reach out to strip club workers. A group goes to every Super Bowl, World Cup and Summer Olympics.

Studies show, Guthrie said, large groups of sex-trafficking victims will be shipped to areas where large groups of men gather.

At the last World Cup, organizers worked with local authorities to save 14 sex-workers from their pimp. Another time, they worked with a Nigerian attorney to send a woman taken back home.

After the rescue of a trafficking victim, the restoration must begin.

Guthrie said Exodus Cry also works with communities to educate mental-health workers, hospitals and even churches on how to help these victims.

“If a girl has been trafficked since she was 15 and she left when she was 25, she’s completely disconnected from the community,” Guthrie said. “She doesn’t have her driver’s license, she doesn’t have her GED. She hasn’t been to the dentist, she hasn’t had full physical health care. Clearly, she does need mental and emotional restoration.”

Ultimately, she said, communities must be educated, she said.

“It’s not a pretty subject, but we’ve got to talk about it,” she said.

For more information on Exodus cry, visit exoduscry.com.

For more information on the presentation, call Shannon Morgan at 816-637-3354 or email vfpatientsupport@aol.com.

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