On July 2, Ghisaline Maxwell, an accomplice to Jeffrey Epstein, was arrested at one of her lavish estates in Bradford, New Hampshire.
Maxwell facilitated heinous crimes against underaged women as far back as 1994 for Epstein. The British socialite reportedly assisted Epstein in grooming girls as young as 14 years old for prostitution and even molested several girls with Epstein at his estates in New York, Florida and Mexico.
“Maxwell enticed minor girls, got them to trust her, and then delivered them into the trap that she and Jeffrey Epstein had set. She pretended to be a woman they could trust. All the while, she was setting them up to be abused sexually by Epstein and, in some cases, Maxwell herself,” acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said.
The extent of the pain, trauma and heartache this predator caused for the abused women and their families cannot be quantified. Hopefully, she will face her long overdue punishment for these stomach-churning acts and live the rest of her days in jail, incapable of harming anyone else.
Despite her capture, something about this unsettles me.
I live in a small town on the seacoast of New Hampshire. It is your typical tight-knit community, where everyone knows one another, and major happenings are a rarity.
But Maxwell was just over an hour away in her estate. Just over one hour from my home and my three younger sisters.
The fact of the matter is, no matter where you are, there is always a threat of a sexual predator somewhere near you.
In 2017, 9,000 cases in the U.S. were reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline and BeFree Textline in 2017, according to Fortune.com. Most of the victims of sex trafficking are young and vulnerable women.
However, that number is likely skewed because most cases of sex trafficking escape the scope of justice. Many slaves’ cries go unheeded by the masses while their bodies are relentlessly exploited for the personal gain of their captors. Sex trafficking is as much a pandemic as COVID-19 is.
My skin crawls at the thought of what could happen to my sisters in a world where evils like this exist.
While Maxwell awaits the consequences of her actions, she is just one pawn on the complex chessboard of the sex trafficking industry. Human trafficking is still thriving and will continue to thrive if we do not continue to fight.
This starts at an individual level. Everyone is responsible for their own safety, something all should take seriously. Traffickers are out there, waiting to ensnare their next victim.
Parents must educate their children in adequate self-defense and in how to be safe in an increasingly wicked world. Some of these ways include the well-worn clichés of not talking to strangers, never traveling in an unknown place by yourself, and calling local authorities if you feel unsafe. By doing so, the chances of you or a loved one getting kidnapped reduce drastically.
Furthermore, Christians have the sovereign joy of raising our banner and waging war for the countless unnamed victims still in trafficking.
One of the clearest ways a Christian can show God’s love and justice is by being a voice for the voiceless and ensuring “justice for those being crushed” (Proverbs 31:8-9).
Organizations like Compassion 2 One, the Faith Alliance Against Slavery and Trafficking, and Covenant House are faithfully fighting this war to free the countless lives lost to trafficking and who need our support and prayers. While you may not work for these organizations, being faithful in the small things is how battles are won.
This seems like a fight too daunting to face since it is so widespread. But with the power of an Almighty God on our side who has overcome the world, we are not without hope.