This is one of those posts where you rewrite the first sentence 9 times, and debate going downstairs for a 4th snack before continuing. It is not your average wedding post, but it’s a part of my heart and this little business of mine, so I’m daring to go here! Welcome to my blog, a combination of pretty things and very raw things.
Today is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day.
Most people have heard about it by now, but they may not realize that it’s happening in their very neighborhood. It’s not just a foreign thing, it’s an all-50-states thing. I happen to live just outside of Washington, D.C. Human trafficking has touched every high school in Northern Virginia, as well as several middle schools, according to WHAG Shannon Ryan’s interview with Detective William Woolf. There are likely victims in my neighborhood.
human trafficking has touched every high school in northern virginia, as well as several middle schools
Not every situation is like the movie Taken, where the victim is kidnapped and held hostage. According to Polaris, “Many victims become romantically involved with someone who then forces or manipulates them into prostitution. Others are lured in with false promises of a job, such as modeling or dancing. Some are forced to sell sex by their parents or other family members. They may be involved in a trafficking situation for a few days or weeks, or may remain in the same trafficking situation for years.”
some [victims] are forced to sell sex by their parents or other family members.
So what do we do? Before you feel totally hopeless, let me just say that you have already taken the first step. You’re reading. Traffickers can get away with exploitation as long as the world isn’t paying attention, but the minute we start learning about what’s going on, they lose the power of secrecy.
We can read statistics to get the big picture, but I would argue that real stories are what connect our hearts to the situation. I love that Shared Hope International has an entire section on their website dedicated to sharing true stories from survivors. So in honor of today, I dare you to read a true story, and take the first step towards being more aware. Kristy is just one of many survivors who have been brave enough to share their story, for the freedom of many more.
Thanks for reading friend, this is something so near to my heart. Thank you for joining in the fight for freedom with me!