You may be wondering what wearing a dress has to do with slavery. And I will get to that, but first, let’s talk facts. Did you know there are more slaves today than there were at any other time in history? An estimated 40 million people are currently enslaved today. Global trafficking is a thriving industry generating $150 billion every year. This is mainly through labor and sex trafficking.
Labor trafficking is forced labor for little to no pay. Individuals and sometimes entire families can be enslaved. Victims were likely lured into these “jobs” under false premises and are kept enslaved through trumped up debt or threat of violence or death. Sex trafficking is forced prostitution which can affect men, women, and children. About 2 million children are currently exploited in the global sex trade.
Many times governments are either too corrupt, ill-equipped, or uneducated to do much to stop it.
So 1% are ever rescued.
Let that sink in.
While so much of this happens around the world, it’s also in our backyards. Trafficking is an issue throughout the DC Metro area. It can be hard to identify because many times people don’t even realize they are victims and by the time they do, escape seems impossible.
In the face of this overwhelming and ugly reality, it’s hard to know what to do. Yet if you’re anything like me, doing nothing doesn’t feel like a good option either. So if you can’t go on rescue missions to take down some traffickers either, but you want to do something, ANYTHING to stop this madness, join me by wearing a dress every day for the month of December.
Yes, you read that right. Wear a dress. Why? How will that help anything?
Dressember is a campaign to raise awareness and funds to help fight human trafficking. Money raised goes to support International Justice Mission, A21, and the McMahon / Ryan Child Advocacy Center plus a ton of other amazing partners. These organizations work tirelessly to prevent exploitation, rescue and rehabilitate victims, while ensuring justice is served by assisting law enforcement and working with the governments to change and enforce laws to protect the vulnerable. There are stories after stories about the lives that have been restored and the changes they have made to prevent future exploitation. Throughout the month of December, you can partner with them by championing the work they are doing, sharing stories of hope, rescue and rehabilitation, sharing facts about the issues of slavery today and inviting people to join you in this amazing cause.
With the dress as our flag, we can turn what is often a sign of weakness into a symbol of strength and dignity. One where women join forces to stand for one another. By wearing a dress every day, you’ll have the opportunity to be a voice for the voiceless.
Advocate with your Family
Invite your whole family to participate! This is an amazing opportunity to involve your kids in advocacy. Have your daughters and her friends form a team, encourage your sons to participate too, many have worn ties or bow ties.
It’s easy to think the big sacrificial actions that have huge and visible impacts are the only ones that can make an impact. Yet we can seek justice in small ways too. Wearing a dress might seem insignificant to you, maybe even a little silly, but it’s one small way to seek justice in our hurting world and to invite people to be something bigger than themselves. So join me! Give to the campaign, join my team, or start your own.
For more information, be sure to check out Dressember site. Watch Blythe Hill, founder of Dressember, talk about how a dress can change the world. Other important issues from the International Justice Mission are slavery and an important issue from A21 is Human Trafficking.