February 4, 2011
There has been a lot of news over the past month about human trafficking. But you may be wondering, now what?
Fans of Feminists for Life's Facebook page know that we recently reposted FFL speaker Joyce McCauley-Benner's article "The Face of Modern Day Slavery" together with a newspaper article about anti-trafficking efforts at this weekend's Super Bowl.
Longtime FFL members and supporters know that human trafficking is not a thing of the past, nor is it something far from any of us. Slavery may be found today in all 50 of the United States as well as countries all over the world.
Trafficking occurs in truck stops, hotels, suburban homes, rural fields, and cities. Victims, both adults and children, may be compelled to do housekeeping, landscaping, farm or factory work, and construction, as well as prostitution and other sex work.
Feminists for Life also wants to you to know that we can help the estimated 27 million victims of human trafficking. We are not powerless against these forms of brutality.
- Visit the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services' Rescue & Restore website for more information about human trafficking and campaigns and tools to prevent and stop it.
- Educate others in your community about these issues surrounding slavery and sex trafficking (including its connection to pornography) through letters to the editor of your local paper, linking to pertinent articles through social media, and encouraging educational events or forums on the topic.
- Pay attention to your surroundings. If you suspect trafficking activity, if you or someone you know is being forced to engage in any activity and cannot leave, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888. The hotline is anonymous, confidential, and available toll-free 24 hours a day. Translators are available for every language.
- Lobby your legislators for change. In the United States, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) is up for reauthorization in 2011. Contact your U.S. Senators and Representatives to express your support.
- Visit websites like PolarisProject.org to learn more about pending legislation in your state. Your state legislatures and local councils may also have proposals before them that deal with particular trafficking incidents and trends in your community. SlaveryMap.org is a place where you can learn about recent trafficking incidents and news in your area. Stay informed and make your opinions known to your elected officials.
Saying "women deserve better" is only the beginning. We can end trafficking if we take real action. Don't be silent.
Because women deserve better,
Serrin M. Foster