While there is one lost girl......
The more I look into it the more I am convinced that the national strongholds of the devil over the UK that were prevalent when the Army was raised up are still the prevailing strongholds of our own day.
I touched on the issue of alcohol yesterday. John Dawson also cited prostitution as a stronghold over the UK that the early SA tackled. No doubt he had in mind the Army’s Maiden Tribute campaign which resulted in the raising of the age of consent to 16. As a teenager selling the War Cry in the pubs I well remember that a common jibe was “Does the Salvation Army save fallen women? Save one for me!” Although designed to cause embarrassment and make fun the comment revealed the connection that was still made in the minds of the public with the Army and the rescue of women from vice in the late 1970’s.
If we thought that prostitution was in decline in our nation recent reports on sexual trafficking has blown that idea out of the water. There is a great demand for trafficked persons in brothels and massage parlours because they are considered to be cheaper and can often be exploited in even more horrific ways than those involved with prostitution that are of UK origin.
The UK’s cultural attitudes towards prostitution and the sex-industry mean that traffickers have found a ready-made market for their trade. A survey in Scotland discovered that nearly half of men who pay for sex are in a relationship with the majority saying only the threat of jail would stop them. Many believed women entered prostitution as a career choice and only jail, a letter to their partner from the police or being placed on the sex offenders' register was a deterrent. One in 10 said rape did not apply to prostitutes and they would commit a rape if it went undetected.
A Panorama investigation has uncovered how girls, sometimes as young as 12, are being groomed for prostitution by gangs on the streets of Britain. See news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/prgrammes/panorama/7302713.stm
With the additional rise in pornography available through the internet it is obvious that our nation has a significant problem to deal with. I think it is wider than just organised prostitution however. In contrast to Victorian Britain the average age for losing virginity is 17 and is usually outside of marriage. Teenage pregnancy rates are the highest in Europe. The pressure on young people to have sex as a rite of passage is immense. Interestingly Christians who promote sexual abstinence as a way of tackling this have been vilified in the press as far right extremists. It seems that an attitude prevails among many “experts” that as long a teenage pregnancy is avoided through contraception, sexual activity among the very young although not desirable is inevitable.
Come on Salvation Army, we were born to fight this!