Grappling with the reality of child sexual abuse takes time and space, regardless of whether you’re new to the issue or have lived its reality. We hope you give yourself that space, and we hope we get to keep you as a critical part of this movement. As we look beyond Human Trafficking Awareness Month, we want to provide you with information that you can you carry forward into the next 11 months and beyond.
This month survivors generously shared their stories.
We heard from Rebecca Bender, who shared her true-life account of what trafficking looks like, Taken? Not so much. We released our newest research, confirming that the online advertising of children for sex is on the rise, and that those 10 and younger are most likely to be trafficked by their family. Our friends at My Life My Choice provided valuable insight into the power of survivor-led education in leading prevention efforts. Saving Innocence gave us this image of hope.
And to wrap up the month, Journey Out dove into the overwhelming need for individualized support throughout the recovery process. Urging us to think past the notion of “rescues” because recovery requires years of healing and support services.
Keep the momentum going.
While Human Trafficking Awareness Month shines a spotlight on the issue, it is an everyday reality — 365 days a year. We ask that you consider how you can make this cause part of every month. Here are some ideas for the next 6 months, the last 5 are up to you.
January: Commit to taking a small piece of responsibility for the solution, even if you have never been a part of this problem.
February: Become a monthly donor [even $10 helps].
March: Find a survivor organization close to home.
April: See if that organization has need of any skills you have.
May: Ask your employer if your company has any survivor employment opportunities.
June: Talk to your family about the issue.
July: Having a summer BBQ? Consider making it a gift card drive for your local survivor org.
We hope you return to these survivor orgs, and the powerful work they are doing on the frontlines when you need to feel grounded in the issue or when you continue to raise awareness. We hope you remember that this work is hard, so worth doing, and that a solution will involve all of us doing what we can from where we are.
Most importantly, let people know that help is available.