Dressember: Fighting Modern Slavery

Hello to all of the Shape the Sky friends and followers out there!

Today I am taking a moment to shape your sky about a topic that is dear to my heart.   Slavery exists in every city around the world. It haunts massage parlors and truck stops. It circles most major sporting events. And it may exist right next door to you.  Modern slavery affects people of all races, genders, and ages but some are disproportionately impacted. 71% of victims are women and 25% of total victims are children. According to Global Estimates of Modern Slavery, 40 million people are victims of modern slavery today. This includes 20.2 million people in forced labor, 4.8 million in forced sexual exploitation, and 15 million in forced marriage.

The internet increases accessibility to modern slavery in the form of sex trafficking.  Online pornography fuels sex trafficking by creating a demand for porn that is often met using unwilling participants. A report from Thorn indicates that nearly half of sex trafficking survivors report that pornography was made of them while they were victims. The internet is also instrumental in how sex trafficking victims are bought and sold; many are listed on social media or on popular sites.

On the flip side there are also a number of anti-trafficking apps out there that can help us advocate for the end of human trafficking, some of which include: LegislationTrack, TrackBill, FreeGov, Countable, 5 calls, Stance, Brigade, and Boycott. Click here for the Top 8 Apps for the Anti-Trafficking Activist.

So why am I bringing awareness to this topic to you today?  Well, this is Dressember and I am a Dressember advocate!  My goal is to educate, raise awareness, and get donations to help this cause.  Dressember was started by Blythe Hill in 2005 after she heard about the issue of human trafficking. Despite her deep sense of urgency to help, she felt helpless. She wasn’t a lawyer or a doctor or a social worker; her interests and talents were in fashion, trend analysis, and blogging. She didn’t think she had much to offer to the fight, until four years later.  In 2009, Blythe challenged herself to wear a dress every day of December (hence: Dressember). Every year since then, more people joined in until Blythe’s one-person challenge blossomed into an international movement to fight human trafficking.  In 2018, thousands of advocates raise nearly $2.4M worldwide for the cause.

Do you want to be a part of it?  You can become an advocate, you can donate, you can educate yourself about modern day slavery, and you can take a stand!  It is never too late and there is nothing to little.

Thank you for taking a moment to read this and learn about this movement.

Sherri Klingensmith, LPC, NCC