Archive for the ‘abolition’ Category

If you know me, you know that I’m a big fan of wearing t-shirts for some of my favorite organizations. To Write Love on Her Arms. Love 146. I love what they stand for and the power behind their organizations in getting the word out about social issues that are near and dear to my heart. People ask me what they mean, assuming it’s just a band logo or something. Their reactions are usually one of shock. One for the subject matter, and one for how a young person cares so much about the lives of others.

But something really awesome happened when I was at Tampa airport, waiting for my flight home. I was wearing my t-shirt for the Stop The Traffick Freedom Drive. People actually stopped me and asked what the meaning behind it was. I’ve never experienced anything quite like this before. I found myself opening up conversations about human trafficking to complete strangers, and having them listen to what I was saying and genuinely seeming to be impacted by the things I was telling them was pretty surreal.

I had a few people ask me what stop the traffick meant, and when I told them what the Stop the Traffick Freedom Drive was all about, their reaction was eye opening. All of them were shocked, this one lady who worked at one of the gift shops I walked into actually almost cried.

After the first 3 people stopped me to ask what the shirt meant, I noticed that a lot of people I passed by that day in the airport took a couple seconds to read my shirt. I’m not the one to vibe on having all the attention on me, but seeing people take a few seconds to look and read my shirt as I walked through the airport was a really cool feeling.

Without really doing anything at all, except going about my business, I was somehow spreading the awareness of human trafficking to a crowd bigger than I ever could imagine talking to. That’s all it took. It was nothing radical or anything to purposely give attention to myself. All I did was wake up that morning and put on a comfy t-shirt that had a statement on the front of it.

As I was on the plane back home, I began thinking of the people who stopped me and talked to me about my shirt, and those who weren’t as bold, yet I saw looking at it and reading the message. Maybe they thought about it for a second, then went about their business. Hopefully those who engaged me in conversation took the message a little deeper.

Sometimes you don’t have to get out there and be this radical person who goes around doing things that make people stop you and ask questions. Sometimes all you have to do is wear a shirt with a statement on it. People, whether you realize it or not, see you. They see what you’re wearing and notice you.

I witnessed one of the most scary, yet intriguing trends being brought up in adolescent America while I was in high school. I wasn’t just a witness to it, I was also hugely involved in it. It had the ability to tear friendships apart, to break the hearts of parents and make them wonder if they weren’t good enough while raising they’re child, to manipulate the person involved into thinking that everyone around them was the enemy and all they wanted was to report them to the school psychologist. The trend, was cutting.

Freshman year is a confusing time for anyone no doubt. Friendships from middle school sometime come to an abrupt end, new friends come into your life and life itself takes on a whole new meaning within you. It’s the year  most of us spent trying to understand ourselves better. Freshman year was also the year I saw cutting play a bigger role in our society than I ever did before.

Cutting shouldn’t be a trend. I remember knowing people who cut themselves because they thought it was cool and they wanted to fit in. Others of us did it because it was a way of escape from the mess going on inside our heads. Either way, it was becoming something bigger than we thought it ever could be. As it was having its way in my life, I saw what it was doing to others as well.

Once people found out about it, you became part of the gossip train. Some people thrived on that attention. They didn’t want that specific kind of attention, but having people know who they were gave them some sort of thrill. Those who were cutting for deeper reasons, the attention was a nightmare. Their one thing they had that they could control was now exposed to the world. The one secret they wanted to keep was out.

Either way, I saw cutting growing and growing into our society. It was once a well kept secret that nobody wanted to talk about, and soon it was all some people could talk about.

Cutting isn’t cool. Cutting is a serious problem. Cutting shouldn’t be the thing to be doing. Cutting can be dangerous. Either way you look at it, no matter what the intentions of the cutter are for doing it, they need help. Yes even those who wanted the attention; there’s still something there that needs to be exposed.

Cutting shouldn’t be an epidemic.

Around our church, ever since abolitionist Rob Morris of Love 146 www.love146.org came to speak about child sex slavery, there has been an interest sparked in ending such a horrific thing. But what we don’t have in mind most of the time that in some parts of the world, prostitution is actually legal.

I’ve been finding myself researching sex slavery, human trafficking and prostitution lately. What I found absolutely blew me out of the water. In Canada, Europe (England, France, Wales and Denmark), South America, Israel, Australia, Asia and Iran just to name a select few places in the world, the business of prostitution is actually legal.

One of the most infamous places in the world for this is a town in Mexico, called Boystown. The government runs it and it is basically a town of nothing but brothels. You pay to get into Boystown, guards standing at the gates of course, then once your in you choose what you want. The Mexican government knows all about this disgusting business going on and they allow it to happen.

I think we forget about this fact when it comes to the fight against human trafficking and the sex slave trade. It’s such a high grossing business, that the money stands in front of the morals for some countries. It’s so sad if you think about it. That some governments tear down the worth of a human being, just to gain some money.

 

The United States is one of the few countries in the world, where prostitution is illegal, yet in June of 2010, the 10th annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report ranked the U.S in tier 1 (that being the highest on the list for human trafficking and modern day slavery). We are up there in the ranks, although prostitution, human  trafficking and modern day slavery is deemed to be  illegal. What’s wrong with that picture?

We need to all come together and make this change. We should get allies and convince other countries to place  the worth of the dollar aside and look at the worth of human life and integrity. If we don’t, and countries continue on having prostitution legalized, our fight to end this will continuously be an up hill battle.