Dressember 2020: 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.

Anyone can be a victim of child sex trafficking, but the homeless, runaways, LGBTQ, African American or Latino, and youth interacting with the child welfare system are more vulnerable to this type of exploitation. To see some of these statics check out this website.

The internet and technology that we have access to today has made it easier for children to be bought and sold online.  The websites that are used are common sites that you and I use every day.  This problem is in my town and your town. Law enforcement does not have enough resources to manage this online commercial sex market.  THORN has developed a program called Spotlight and it helps to find children and identifies their traffickers.  Spotlight is a free, tool available to any law enforcement agent working on human trafficking cases. It helps law enforcement prioritize leads by using machine learning algorithms and link analysis to surface connections and relationships between disparate data sources. With Spotlight, officers get greater insight into the full historical and geographical reach of a victim’s trafficking situation. Spotlight is helping law enforcement find more kids, faster and stop future abuse.  To read more about Spotlight click here.

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. To read more about these apps and what they do click here.

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 money 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 2019, thousands of advocates raised $2,638,518 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 human trafficking/modern day slavery, and you can take a stand!  It is never too late and there is nothing too little.

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

If you are interested in getting involved by making a donation please visit my donation page.

~Sherri Klingensmith, LPC, NCC, MA