As those of you who’ve followed the progress of my novel Molly’s Song (hopefully out this winter), you know that it touches on human trafficking in the 19th Century. As a firefighter, of course I knew a little bit about human trafficking, but we weren’t provided with much training at all back then. As a person with an academic background in history, I knew a little bit about the historical context, especially in the 1800s. However, I had no idea how prevalent and pervasive an issue it was until January of 2018. It was my first semester at the college and we had a professional development day prior to the start of the semester. One of the sessions I attended was on human trafficking. I had no idea that the area that I had lived for the past several years was one of the major hubs in the country. It was taught by a colleague who, apart from being a professor and a truly kind and caring human being, is also the President of the Restoration Life Project. You can find more about the organization here. It is dedicated to helping survivors of human trafficking rebuild their lives. This is such an important mission. Survivors need advocates like this who are willing to extend a helping hand.
And lest you think that trafficking is only an urban problem, please understand that it happens everywhere. It happens in rural communities. It happens in upscale neighborhoods. It happens in the suburbs. It is all around us and if we don’t know what to long for, or if we are willing to turn a blind eye, then it will persist forever. The victims are not nameless, faceless entities. They are our sisters, our brothers, our husbands, our wives, our sons, and our daughters.
So what can you do? Get involved. Educate yourself about the issue. Learn the signs to watch for. But how can I do that, you ask? The Restoration Life Project offers awareness sessions that are now online due to the ongoing issue with COVID-19. I’m going to quote from the email below:
“Restoration Life Project is still on its mission! Sadly, even a pandemic is not enough to put an end to human trafficking. Therefore, we are moving our awareness chat sessions online until at least August 31st, 2020. If any church, community organization, employer or family would like to schedule an online chat session to learn more about human trafficking to be provided by RLP members, please send an email to therestorationlifeproject @ gmail.com (just remove the spaces). Chat sessions are free, but donations are needed and appreciated. Stay safe and remember the RLP slogan… Love restores!”
So please, friends, consider getting involved in the fight to end this scourge upon society. There are ways to get involved in every community, but it all starts with an email or a phone call. Let’s all work together to make this world a better place. And what better place to start than our own communities.
Until next time, friends, stay safe.