This morning, I was struggling with a devotion I read about the necessity for remembering the “dark stories” about women in the bible. It went on to list merely a few of the countless women who were killed, beaten, raped, and forgotten.
We don’t even have a record of most of their names.
While I grieved the horrors these women faced, I still found it hard to connect with their pain. Why did I need to remember the horrific things that were done thousands of years ago, in a different country, realistically, in a different world?
I took a minute to consider how this gruesome past might affect my future if I chose to hold it close, when I was reminded of the date.
Today is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day.
We’re all guilty of looking at the past as, well, past. The slave trade, the holocaust, all those atrocities are something we learn about in school but don’t allow to affect how we see the present.
So, what about when the past isn’t past?
The slave trade, the dehumanization, the abuse, the rapes, the branding, the exploitation, the kidnapping, the torture, the shame, the countless women and men whose names will never be known or remembered.
Not one of these things are merely in the past.
There are more people in slavery today than at any other point in history.
People right here in the United States.
*All photos from A21.org
This is not a history lesson to grow from. This is not something third world nations are responsible for. This is not an issue of race, ethnicity, or gender.
This is a problem for every person living and breathing on this planet.
So what can we do?
- Educate ourselves. The first problem is our lack of understanding about how widespread this issue really is. Please take a minute to find out more than I can tell you by clicking here.
- Donate. If you’re anything like me, you don’t even know how to begin to help. Well, while we figure out a more hands on way to assist, we can give to those already out there working for change. There are several organizations to choose from; I’m most familiar with A21. Click here to learn more about them.
Click here to donate.
Literally, every dollar counts; please don’t talk yourself out of giving because you think your dollar won’t matter. It does.
- Spread the word. The sad reality is most people aren’t aware that there are over 27 million people in slavery today, that’s what allows it to be such a thriving business. Talk about it on social media and tell your friends and coworkers. If we can bring this to light, less people will become victims and more people will be able to join in the fight.
If you know anything about me, you know this cause is very near and dear to my heart. I wish I could do more but I’m only one person with limited resources. We all are. But if we join together in this fight, if we combine our resources, we have a real possibility of changing the future for millions of forgotten people.
My devotion this morning was right; we can’t let the bruised and beaten be forgotten. If we let the memories of their trauma die, then we’ve already forgotten the pain of those suffering this very minute. I choose not waste my life by passively supporting exploitation, kidnap, and rape. What about you?
Please consider donating to this cause. I believe in it so much that nearly ten months ago I shaved my head to raise awareness for it. If you’re interested in seeing more about that, click here, but this story is not about me. It’s about the lost. All I can do is be a voice for them. Please join with me to take a stand.