July 30th is World Day Against Trafficking
I challenge you to make sure that your social network acts as a safety net for those you come in contact with.
What does that mean?
Day to day as an individual, I hope you are aware of the other individuals around you.
One of the things that all of us can do, in every neighborhood in every community, is know the names of individuals in our neighborhoods. Greet them by name. Be aware of what is going on in your surroundings. Unfortunately, human trafficking can be present in any neighborhood, regardless of how perfect it looks from the outside.
Crime thrives when no one knows, no one cares, no one notices . . . We need to remove the anonymity of our surroundings. People have names! We can learn them and use them.
Be good neighbors — not nosy neighbors! Build real relationships. If people don’t want to go past hello, don’t push it. I have been in neighborhoods where saying hello to people as they pass on the street freaked them out!!! It was like a piece of furniture had just talked to them! It was not something that they were used to. Depending on where you live, this may be a much more complex project than it would seem. Keep the safety of yourself and your family in mind. Start small, but please start by reaching out to one more person beyond your usual circle.
You don’t have to travel way out of your comfort zone: like ripples in a pond, as we each notice individuals around us, it will spread across the entire surface. This can happen from one stone thrown into the water, but the surface becomes rapidly animated during a rainstorm: the more people willing to start, the more quickly everyone can be reached.
Resources to Help
If you are witness to or have evidence of a crime, please contact the proper authorities. If you are too uncomfortable to file a report in person, find out if your local authorities have a way to report anonymously.
You can reach the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline at 1-888-373-7888, or learn more at https://humantraffickinghotline.org/ The website includes a search bar to find resources by zipcode (in the USA and its territories).
If you want to be more involved or would like free training on what signs to look for, please visit the Operation Underground Railroad website at https://ourrescue.org/
It is my hope that we will revive courage in people who have given up hope by recognizing them as individuals. We can then continue to support them throughout the long healing process. By we, I mean the network of organizations that have been set up to support individuals, professionals who are trained to handle traumatic situations and their aftermath, and the common everyday person who can be genuinely kind to all who are rebuilding (or building for the first time) their lives.
#RISEUP #OperationUndergroundRailroad #EndHumanTrafficking #RISEUPforchildren #AuthorsforFreedom
[The photo is from 2016 when my 3 year old son insisted on throwing every available rock into the water at Fontana Park, Hazleton, Iowa. Most of the ripples are from the wind and the sparkles are from the bright sunshine, no filters or special effects.]
I have joined with other authors to raise money for Operation Underground Railroad. Authors for Freedom will donate all profits from books sold on July 30th 2021 to Operation Underground Railroad. https://my.ourrescue.org/authors-for-freedom