I am the first to admit that learning about human trafficking can feel very overwhelming–even depressing– at first. You see the statistics and the news stories and it just seems like such horrific stuff, how can we even do anything about it?
You may be surprised, but there’s quite a bit that can be done. There’s a lot already being done to fight human trafficking every day, both here and abroad. I already mentioned in a previous post that memorizing the national Human Trafficking Hotline can help save a life. 1-888-3737-888 is the number to call, or text information or questions to BEFREE on your cell phone. Just memorize it, and tell others about it so they will know there is a resource.
First Step: Educate Yourself. I’ve compiled a page of documentaries, books, and web sites from organizations that are great starting points to familiarize yourself with the reality of this problem. There are books, web sites, and documentaries that shed light on all types of human trafficking. I will continue to update this page as I learn of more resources that will help you educate yourselves.
My hope is that you will go a step further after you learn about the women, children, and men who are trafficked into situations from which they have no escape. That you will imagine what it would be like if your very own daughter, son, sister, or brother were in that same situation. And that you would be moved by compassion into action.
After educating yourself, find a way to get involved. There are many ways! You can write letters to legislators, volunteer with survivors, make meals for drop-in centers, join or develop an outreach to educate others, devote a talent to raising awareness, collect donations for crisis centers, pray, become a speaker on this subject, or a million other things! I make jewelry that I sell to raise awareness and funds. Who knew making jewelry was a way to fight slavery!? Just about anything you do to raise awareness or move into action can help secure freedom for the many women, children, and men who are trafficked every day.
When asked which was the greatest commandment of the law, Jesus replied:
“‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” -Matthew 22:36-40, The Message
Loving others as we love ourselves means wanting the same for them that we want for ourselves. Do you want to be beaten and forced to have sex with a dozen or more strangers every night? Do you want to work in a carpet factory for 18 hours a day for no pay? Do you want to be forced to kill people in a war that you know nothing about and never signed up for? Do you want to be enslaved as a domestic servant for all of your life?
I didn’t think so. Neither do I.
Then how can we stand by while these things are happening to others? We can’t. So let’s get a move on, shall we?