When I first heard about Dressember I was skeptical…I even laughed. “How can wearing a dress stop human trafficking?” I asked. Quickly, however, I had a change of heart. The more I learned about human trafficking the more I realized I could not stand still, and Dressember provided a simple way to advocate for something much greater than a dress.
Dressember exists “to inspire and empower a global community” and “to face one of the greatest injustices of our time.”
How does it do this? Well, for each of the 31 days of Dressember, thousands of women across the globe wear a dress. By doing so they raise awareness, start the conversation about the reality of human trafficking, and raise money for the International Justice Mission and A21, which are two organizations that seek to fight modern day slavery.
Modern day slavery includes slave labor (such as brick kilns and mines) sex slavery (in brothels and on the internet). The conditions are often brutal and harsh, and many die in captivity. Their captors often beat them, abuse them, and prevent them from gaining an education. Ages of slaves range from children to the elderly, including 22% of those in the sex trade being minors.
I have now participated in Dressember twice. The first time I remember thinking that it would be easy, but in reality it was a burden. Sure, it was annoying to not wear pants, but what was the most burdensome thing about it was that it was a constant reminder of those who are in slavery. Every time I put on a dress I thought about the reality that 45 million people are held against their will. I thought about the girl that was being sold for sex at that very moment. I couldn’t get the image of brick laborers working 18 hours a day without pay out of my head. Wearing a dress was a daily reminder for me, and it made me aware of the injustice that millions of people live in.
Edmund Burke once said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil if for good men to do nothing.”
So where does that leave us? How can we contribute? I will finish with 3 things to consider.
- Educate yourself and start the conversation about human trafficking. The more I researched and learned about human trafficking, the more I realized how great of an issue it is. Find websites, like ijm.org, that contain information and facts. Read books about the issue of human trafficking. Learn about the victims and their stories. Educate yourself.
- Spend yourself. Give to worthy organizations like Dressember, IJM, and A21 that make a difference . Volunteer at local human trafficking safe homes and organizations that are around you. You will be surprised about how many opportunities there actually are! (P.S. if you feel led to give to my Dressember page, you can do so here)
- Pray for those involved and their salvation. The victims need freedom in every capacity of their lives. Pray that they will feel the love of God even amidst such evil. Pray for their restoration. Pray for healing. I also challenge you to pray for the captors, that they will see the evil that they are doing and turn from the darkness of slavery. Lastly, pray for those who see human trafficking yet choose to say nothing. Pray that they will not turn a blind eye because it is convenient, but that they will stand up for the oppressed.
Thank you for reading this and I hope this proves to be helpful. Remember that “The Lord is near the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit“. (Psalm 34:18)