Deadly Shootings at Georgia Massage Parlors Brings Awareness to Sex Trafficking Industry and Offers Opportunity for Churches to Help Exploited Women

People hold placards during a vigil at a makeshift memorial outside the Gold Spa following the deadly shootings in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. March 21, 2021. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

As last month’s shootings at three Georgia massage parlors gained national media attention, an advocacy group says the tragedy presents an opportunity for churches to raise awareness and help the women being trafficked by illicit massage businesses nationwide.

Illicit businesses masquerading as massage parlors or spas are the second-largest reported form of human trafficking in the United States. With 9,000 establishments across the country, it’s a booming $2.8 billion industry for those who prey on vulnerable women, the advocacy group Street Grace has warned.

Street Grace, a faith-based organization that seeks to eradicate sexual exploitation, released a report last year detailing the breadth of the illegal massage businesses in Georgia. The report was published months before national attention turned toward the mass shooting at three Atlanta-area massage parlors by a man who told authorities that he sought to eliminate “temptations” as he battled sex addiction.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Emily Wood