For the last five years, more 1,000 nuns have been going undercover as sex workers to help women trafficked into prostitution and sex slavery. And while you’ve probably never heard of them, the sisters of Talitha Kum—a reference to the Gospel of Mark meaning, “Maiden, I say to you, arise” in Aramaic—are worthy of your attention.
The sisters run prevention programs in schools, offering education and training to young people to keep them out of the hands of traffickers. They also provide safe haven to victims in convents and the homes of sisters, and they pose as sex workers to help women out of trafficking rings and purchase children who are being sold into slavery.
John Studzinski, chairman of Talitha Kum, recently announced that the group will be expanding its work from 80 to 140 countries due to the rising global demand to end human trafficking and slavery.
“I’m not trying to be sensational but I’m trying to underscore the fact this is a world that has lost innocence … where dark forces are active,” said Studzinski in a recent address at the Trust Women Conference hosted by the Thomas Reuters Foundation.
He went on to tell a story of one enslaved women who was locked up for a week without food or water after she failed to meet the target of 12 clients per day, and another woman who was forced to have sex with 10 men at the same time.