Before sunrise this morning, I walked out of my house without realizing I had forgotten to grab my phone. As I sat in a parking lot waiting for my daughter to return to the car, I was inadvertently given the gift of getting to watch the sunrise for the first time in a very long time without any distractions.
It's hard to watch the sunrise and not feel a sense of hope. A new day, a new beginning. I needed that. Yesterday I spent the day researching sex trafficking, and by the day's end, I felt deflated. It can be overwhelming to look at the statistics on human suffering and not feel a sense of hopelessness. Millions of human beings in our world are being coerced, manipulated, and even brutalized to do unimaginable things for another's profit. Sometimes I ask myself how it could even be possible that such evil exists, let alone to the magnitude that it does. It's hard to stare straight into that darkness and feel like you can even see the light at the end of the tunnel.
But this morning, I watched the sunrise and I felt a sense of hope. Another day to step into this human trafficking arena and use my voice and what little power I have to breathe some life into this darkness.
I will celebrate stories of victims who survive, perpetrators held accountable for their crime, and new legislation passed that offers hope. I will write letters to people with influence and write checks to organizations fighting the fight. And I will continue to try and shine a light on this issue so others can see their part in this battle too.
Last year marked the 20th anniversary of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA). This legislation recognized the importance of protecting victims, holding traffickers criminally accountable, and preventing victimization from occurring in the first place. We are 20 years into this war on trafficking, and we are, in fact, making progress, but there's a long way to go. Let 2021 be the year you choose one way to join the fight, even if it's just bringing awareness to the problem by openly talking about it or following some anti-trafficking social media sites. The over 40 million people in our world currently suffering right now are depending on us.