Let’s Write Them a New Story
If you follow me on my socials, you may have noticed I’ve been wearing dresses for the month of December. “Why?”, you may ask.
Dressember is an international organization involved in putting an end to human trafficking and helping its victims recover after they’ve been freed. It is a community of international advocates utilizing fashion and creativity to end human trafficking.
Why a dress?
Many women who’ve been trafficked into the sex industry are forced to wear tight dresses or other attire they’ve not chosen. By CHOOSING to wear a dress or a tie, we stand with them, letting these women and others who’ve been trafficked know that we’ve seen them. It’s also an awareness raising move. Why would anyone choose to wear a dress or tie every day for a month? Jeans are far more comfortable and when I want to get into the garden, I’m all about my yoga pants. But choosing to do these activities in a dress helps disrupt the normal routines of my life - and hopefully cause others around me to notice.
Why would a dystopian author be so passionate about this cause?
Simply put, this is an injustice that must end. Did you know human trafficking is estimated to be a $150 BILLION industry each year (according to the International Justice Mission)? And that over 24 million people each year are in a trafficking situation? These can be child labor, forced labor, sexual servitude, involuntary servitude or bonded labor situations. Human trafficking is a WORLDWIDE issue that affects almost every single nation on the globe, including the US. Most human trafficking victims in the US are trapped in the sexual trafficking industry and are women. You may have seen a sex trafficking victim on a street corner or in a truck stop on a highway and not even been aware of her bondage. Networks of human rights advocates, truckers, police and neighborhood action committees around the nation work together to combat this. But many of these victims are hidden - intentionally. They represent untold wealth to those who control them.
In my books, my evil dictator, the Supreme Commander Martin, utilizes trafficked humans - entire families and villages - on his drug farms. These dystopian slaves are poppy, marijuana, cocaine and heroine farmers and factory workers in what is currently the Rocky Mountain area of the US. Most of these trafficked individuals originated, in my books, from minority populations in southern and southeastern Asia. The global war, which predates my book but sets up Martin’s takeover of the US and it’s transition to the Federated Republic of America, caused such unprecedented worldwide turmoil as to precipitate regime change and oppression of minority populations in many of these smaller nations. Throw in the rise of other dictatorial regimes such as North Korea and China, both of which already have a significant human rights issue in this area, and the setup for widespread human trafficking is complete.
As a result, the Hmong people, a displaced ethnic group from China, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar and Laos, were trafficked in large numbers to the FRA. A scene I’ll share with you all in a few weeks looks at their lives through the perspective of a small boy who’s only ever known life on a poppy farm in Colorado. His acceptance of the situation as normal is scary, but a common story. When you’ve never known anything other than forced labor and slave conditions, is it even possible to have a vision of a different life?
These people deserve freedom.
They deserve a new story for their lives.
Let’s help them write it.
Here’s how you can join me:
Share this blog post on your socials. It’s easy. Tap the three dot icons in the upper right hand corner and share on your favorite platform with why this is important to you. I’ll post a new one every Friday so you’ll have more content to share and we can all learn more. Educating ourselves about this is the first step to changing the impact human trafficking has in our world today.
Join me for a day - wear a dress or a tie. Post a picture and why you’re doing it on your socials and tag me. Let’s cause a stir! Raising awareness is super critical! This was my first step of involvement last year. I remember how I felt so brave on that one day. Step out and make a difference with me!
Join me for the whole month (or the rest of it - no worries, ever day counts!). Navigate to my team’s Dressember page here. The link is also on my Instagram bio or my Facebook page. Once you get there, you’ll find more directions from our fearless team lead, Aubrey Page. You’ll create your own page, set your fundraising goal and start advocating. We’ll also add you to our private chat system so we can encourage each other and share tips.
Give to our team. Navigate to my team’s Dressember page here - it’s also on my instagram link in bio or on my Facebook page. My personal fundraising goal is $1,000 to provide legal counsel to two trafficked women here in the US. Trafficked victims have often accumulated criminal records across several jurisdictions. This legal counsel will help them clear those records and start their new lives without the bondage of the past. $1,000 is a start, but if we blow that out of the water, that’s awesome. That means more help to battle this scourge.
Let’s do this so the stories in my book don’t continue happening all over the world today.