Human trafficking is something about which I feel very strongly. It is not a cause I came to easily, because it is such a disturbing reality. We go through our daily lives oblivious to so many horrible things in this world. To be honest, it’s probably a defense mechanism for a lot of people. Knowing how much suffering, preventable suffering, is occurring in the world can be overwhelming and depressing.
I first learned of this hideous practice nearly a decade ago from my hairdresser. I had seen the billboards around Atlanta and was horrified while it was on my mind, but didn’t look into the practice. Eric has travelled to South America several times to work with victims of trafficking and feels very passionately about #EndingSlaveryInOurTime.
I was always very uncomfortable listening to his stories about the victims he had worked with and the appalling statistics on the crimes against them. It made me sick to think about people abducting, abusing, selling, and forcing other people into labor and savagery. I could not conceive of people hurting children in this way.
I was disturbed by the things Eric told me, time and again, but I couldn’t find a comfortable way to take action – as if there could be such a thing as comfort in this knowledge.
Just before I moved away to the country, Eric gave me a book; Not for Sale. He knows some of the #ModernAbolitionists in the book. I read the jacket and put it on the shelf for over a year because I really couldn’t handle the subject with even that limited knowledge.
Then I met Katie Griffin, and all of that changed. She has been working with a local group that raises awareness about #HumanTrafficking, advocates for victims, and works to end the practice locally. Three years ago, I started making art to help with an annual fund-raiser for the group. The montage above includes portions of three of the four paintings I have created.
It’s time to make another painting, but I have an overloaded schedule this year. In the event that I am unable to make a painting, I have been seeking out companies that train rescued victims in a trade and contribute money to rescue and rehabilitation efforts. I happen to be wearing my Sudara pajamas right now. I’m hoping to get myself a cuff from Branded Collective soon.
If your heart is moved to get involved, please find a way. There are many reputable organizations from a local to international levels to which you can contribute. There are countless brands developing to provide employment for recovered victims. Take a moment to learn more. Please.