Unholy Tour prepares again to show depth of human trafficking

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DULUTH — On average, more than 100 juvenile girls are exploited each night.

Every month, approximately 12,400 men pay for sex with a young woman.

Leading up to the 2019 Super Bowl, 169 individuals were arrested on sex trafficking charges.

On last years’s Unholy Tour Kasey McClure shared her testimony that brought about 4Sarah, an organization dedicated to helping women leave the sex industry. Several other speakers joined McClure in educating attendees to the scope of sex trafficking in the metro Atlanta area. SCOTT BARKLEY/Index

The city you visit for a show at the Fox Theatre or to see beluga whales at the aquarium brings in $290 million annually in sex trafficking.

Human trafficking is second only to drugs in terms of criminal enterprise in Atlanta, with Georgia’s capital ranked as the top city for commercial sexual exploitation of children in the U.S. Opening the eyes of legislators and the public to the issue has become a priority for Tim Echols of the Georgia Public Service Commission. His primary method for doing so is the Unholy Tour.

Each year Echols sponsors several of the outings where attendees board a bus and travel to the areas of Atlanta known for human trafficking. Speakers from various organizations share how they help combat the problem. Many of them have a personal connection and even been rescued themselves from being trafficked.

A free seat, but reservation needed

On the evening of May 23 Echols and the Georgia Baptist Mission Board’s Public Affairs department will co-host the Unholy Tour to educate pastors, ministers, and church leaders on the reality of human sex trafficking in our communities.

“Atlanta has become known to being among the worst, if not the worst, city in America when it comes to human trafficking,” Georgia Baptist Public Affairs Representative Mike Griffin told The Index before last year’s Unholy Tour. “It’s important for churches to be knowledgeable. They should be able to educate their congregation on warning signs and dangers involved. Churches need to be able to minister to these victims.

“Overall, the tour helps show the need for better public policy regarding human trafficking and support for better law enforcement. Because of the internet and social media, it’s become a problem that really knows no boundaries.”

Those perceptions have only intensified for Griffin, recently addressing this year’s Tour.

“I think this will be my sixth UnHoly Tour and all of them have been some of the most eye-opening events of my life. Never would I have seen how real the problem of human trafficking is in the Atlanta metro area without having attended one of these tours.

“I am thankful for so many individuals, churches, and organizations that are helping law enforcement combat this problem. We simply cannot have too much help!”

Seats on the bus are free, but must be reserved. To do so click here to register and then choose “General RSVP” to attend.

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