We all want to believe that when we see something wrong, we’ll act to make it right.
We want to believe that we’ll stand up to the bully, stop an abuser, or intervene on a victim’s behalf. We, the modern day heroes, watch films about the atrocities of the past and tell ourselves that, had we been there, we would have acted differently. We would have stood on the side of justice.
I believed that about myself.
So Why Did It Take Me 4 Years to Act?
Four years ago, in July 2013, I read a blog post about human trafficking and modern day slavery. I “knew” that slavery still existed in the world; I had heard statistics and stories over the years of people (mostly women and children) being sold for a few dollars. But on that day, when I read the story of what an actual rescue mission for one of these precious humans looked like – that day, I couldn’t just move on.
I cried. I prayed. I took the author’s advice to research local anti-trafficking efforts in my city. I signed up to get newsletters and followed all the right organizations on social media and then…Then, I just watched.
For four years, I just stood by and watched other people do something about the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world – the buying and selling of human beings, of children like my children, for sexual exploitation.
Lest you are tempted to believe that this only happens “somewhere else”, let me share that in early October, 84 minors, including a 3-month old girl and her 5-year old sister, were rescued from various trafficking organizations across the United States.
These 2 baby girls were offered for sex to an undercover FBI agent for $600.
I can’t stay quiet about this anymore. I can’t let someone else do the work that matters, not just across the world, but right here where I live.
I am only one, but I am one.
I cannot do everything, but I can do something.
And I will not let what I cannot do
interfere with what I can do.
Edward Everett Hale
Over the next 2 months, you’ll hear a lot from me about modern day slavery, the exploitation of women and children – and how we can act. We CAN stand up to bullies, stop abusers, and intervene for victims. We can say we were there – and we did something.
On Tuesday November 28, I’ll give 20% of my business income to Dressember as part of #GivingTuesday.
My goal is to generate as much income as I can this month so that I can give generously on November 28. You can read more on my website’s #GivingTuesday page to see what I’m offering to give YOU in order to reach this goal; I’ll formally announce it across all my social media channels on Friday November 3.
Every Saturday in November, on Instagram, I’ll highlight one of the incredible organizations that has already be in this fight. I hope you’ll check them out, be sobered and inspired, and find your own way to get involved.
Then, in December, I’ll wear a dress every day to stand with Dressember’s vision of creating a world without slavery.
These dresses reclaim the value of every woman who is exploited and stand as a visual reminder that the fight for her freedom continues.