“…to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness” (Isaiah 42:7).
Blind Eyes Opened: The Truth About Sex Trafficking in America is an exceptional documentary that digs deep into the twisted roots of sex trafficking in the U.S., educating and alerting the church to countless ministry opportunities.
“Once you’ve learned how to recognize human trafficking, you begin to see it everywhere – it’s in every single community,” said Geoffrey Rogers, executive producer and CEO of U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking.
Assess the crisis
Through powerful first-hand testimony, viewers are introduced to the shocking, yet successful strategies traffickers use to lure their victims. Broken family structure, especially fatherlessness, is placed squarely on the table as a culprit in creating vulnerability. As evidence, a victim often adopts a detrimental loyalty to her trafficker, referring to him as “daddy.”
The film engages lawmakers, law enforcement and many organizational and ministry leaders dedicated to ending sex slavery in the U.S. Also revealed is the hushed connection between trafficking and related loathsome businesses, including pornography and the perverted role abortion providers play in facilitating abuse.
It identifies a disturbing trend reaching into family neighborhoods – parents turning their own children out for profit. Many victims are runaways or in the foster-care system, and others are typical middle-school students recruited through social media or at school by other students in plain view.
“Awareness is one of the most difficult steps because people don’t want to believe that it happens here,” said Cheryl DeLuca Johnson CEO of Street Grace, one of many experts highlighted in the documentary.
The average age a child becomes a victim of sex trafficking is 12-14. Of those trapped in sex slavery, 84% were sexually abused as children. And Christians working in their local communities are positioned to make a difference – to recognize the signs and do something about it.
“Once you’ve learned how to see human trafficking – sex trafficking – you begin to see it everywhere,” said Rogers.
The darkness fueling demand is exposed through the testimony of experts, government leaders, non-profit ministry leaders, and insights from six survivors – stories of horrifying abuse, trauma, and perseverance. Each survivor in the film is now living a life transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ, with new hope, purpose, and a determined mission to help others.
Accept the call
Producers emphasize the church’s responsibility in demanding an end to pornography through every means possible – both in one’s personal life and on a national level. Trafficking will not come to an end without cutting consumer demand for porn and illicit sex.
Blind Eyes Opened sends a clear message to the church, the only hope for ending the growing crisis in America. The body of Christ must intercede and commit to change personal priorities and habits, to intervene by strengthening the family, engaging in the foster care system, ministering to sex trade workers, and helping restore victims.
“We absolutely need the church to engage in this crucial battle,” said executive producer and writer Kerri Rogers. “But first, followers of Christ have to allow themselves to see the problem, and that’s what this movie aims to do. If we’re going to truly overcome the evil of sex trafficking, hearts have to change; and this only happens through the love of Christ.”
Blind Eyes Opened will release in nearly 800 theaters for a one-night-only Fathom event on January 23, 2020. Watch the trailer and get theater and ticket information at blindeyesopened.com.
This article originally ran in the January/February 2020 print edition of The AFA Journal. The entire edition can be found here online.