I recall years ago being told that slavery still exists. I didn't believe the person. I remember being told by a friend in highschool that genocide was a constant reality in the country where her family was from and relatives still lived. I thought "Surely not!" Not in this day, not in this culture, our civilized world wouldn't stand for it. I brushed her off and didn't give it much more thought. Now, nearly 20 years later, I've spoken to that friend again. I told her I was sorry I didn't believe her. I really struggled thinking such a thing could exist today.
As I've shared before, genocide is widespread both historically & currently. Beyond the holocaust - which Hollywood has brought more to light through various pieces such as Schindler's List & The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas This bit of history saddened me greatly. I didn't know it went beyond. I thought whatever evil had existed 70 years ago was long gone. This was the past, not the present. How wrong I was!
Our world is full of atrocities. My eyes have been opened and my heart broken.
I have made purchases at stores like Ten Thousand Villages and not really known what purpose it served. What does it really mean to purchase things at fair market value and send the profits to those who worked for them? It is called dignity.
Something I take for granted. Something I hold to as a right.
As a teen, we would hear stories of sex marketing. Mostly, I thought they were a tool to scare us into behaving. Reading about the markers of what may put a teen in a higher risk bracket for being trafficked, I was not high risk. I am thankful for that, but I definitely recall those that would have fit in that category.
What I thought was tales, stories and exaggerations, I'm learning now was actually not.
I am now recognizing many people, many groups who work hard every day to bring a voice to those who have none. They speak out to the governments, their peers & society as a whole, trying to help others know. They also work hard to be a practical support to victims.
There are such organizations in my own city, dedicated to helping people. It is my hope to connect in and become one more person helping to fight, helping to inform and plain old just helping anyway I can.
I wish they were just old wives tales like I had always thought, but they're not.