On Independence day I typed a status declaring that it was my prayer to use the freedom and privilege I have to advocate for people without freedom and without a voice.
I meant what I wrote - but I had no idea how it would actually play out. justice often seems like an elusive idea. It’s a nice ideal but so often the reality of it is hard and seemingly impossible. And when it comes to something as widespread as sex trafficking, how can one person set millions of people free?
But thanks to women I follow on social media, I realized I could join the fight for justice by wearing a dress. I could express my femininity and take a stand for the freedom, dignity and inherent worth of all people at the same time.
But what does a dress have to do with the fight against trafficking? The dress is the movement’s “flag,” and for good reason.
Every day when I put on a dress instead of jeans, I give up a freedom. I’m reminded - as I debate just pulling on my beloved skinny jeans - that the small measure of control I’ve lost is insignificant compared to what millions of men, women and children endure each day. It keeps me focused on something more important than how I feel.
And who wears a dress every day in the frigid northeast? The dress is a conversation starter. You ask me why I’ve gone insane, and I get to tell you about the fight against slavery.
Dressember is a movement started by Blythe Hill in 2009. By 2013, the simple act of wearing a dress all 31 days of December became an international campaign against the scourge of sex trafficking. More than 3 million dollars have been raised in four years. This year alone advocates have already brought in 600,00 dollars!
But where does all the money go? It's funneled directly to A21, IJM (organizations I have followed for years and trust) and the McMahon/Ryan Child Advocacy Center. These non-profits are dedicated to rescuing victims, restoring them to dignified, free lifestyles and ensuring their traffickers are brought to justice.
If you feel led to give, click this link to my donation page. If not, that's okay. I wasn’t aware of human trafficking until two years ago. So, if at the end of December all I’ve done is have conversations and made more people aware that slavery still exists, I’ll be happy. The more people that know, the more that can be done.