week 2: this week i'm gonna... help to end human trafficking
If you watched the Grammy Awards in early 2015, you may remember a moving speech by Brooke Axtell, a domestic violence survivor and activist. Axtell was trafficked by her nanny when she was seven years old, and this experience made her vulnerable to experiencing domestic violence later in life. Brooke’s message at the Grammys resonated throughout hearts and minds everywhere - “Authentic love does not devalue another human being. Authentic love does not silence, shame or abuse.”
You can watch Brooke's speech here:
The topic of abuse that Brooke so eloquently addressed encompasses more than just the standard domestic violence situations we are accustomed to reading about in the papers. It includes a form of modern slavery that occurs when one person exerts control over another person in order to exploit them, where the victim is controlled through manipulation, violence, or the threat of violence and cannot walk away. Some may be shocked to learn that globally 21-30 million men, women and children are enslaved today. That means there are more slaves now than during all the years of the entire transatlantic slave trade combined. And our country is not immune – 83% of victims in confirmed sex trafficking cases in the United States are U.S. citizens.*
* Source: U.S. Department of Justice, 2011
Allies Against Slavery develops community networks that strive for slave-free cities. They engage and mobilize the community through advocacy, education and activism initiatives; they support and empower local survivors of human trafficking; and they coordinate the Slave-Free City Network. Allies believes in pursuing justice for the exploited and enslaved and that the community is the foundation of their work. They honor all stakeholders, particularly survivors, and focus on a holistic, long-term approach to problem solving with integrity.
See more about Allies Against Slavery in this video:
Brooke Axtell serves as Director of Communications and Survivor Support at Allies Against Slavery. In addition, she is the Founder of Survivor Healing and Empowerment, a healing community for survivors of rape, abuse and sex-trafficking, as well as their allies. As an advocate, she is devoted to supporting survivors through their recovery process with a particular focus on creative expression. She passionately shares her vision of healing and hope in order to release her own fear and shame, and thereby she hopes to allow others to do the same.
Notes for this week:
- January is National Human Trafficking Awareness Month
- Our collective givetwig donation will sponsor a night of lodging at an Allies Annual Survivor Leadership Retreat for approximately five survivors; through writing, art, discussions and workshops, they will reclaim their self-worth, cultivate healthy intimacy, and honor their voices.
- For further information regarding Allies Against Slavery, please check out their website.
this week i'm gonna donate to Allies Against Slavery.