What Is An Everyday Abolitionist

So many people believe that slavery ended in the United States in 1865 and, along with it, went the abolitionist movement.

What’s the problem?

Currently over 27 million men, women and children are enslaved around the world—more today than in any other time in history. Many of these are women and girls—the majority of whom are victims of sex trafficking.

There are a number of amazing organizations that are helping to rescue these women out of a life of prostitution and sexual exploitation, but what happens after they are rescued? Free The Girls partners with established aftercare facilities to help provide reintegration services for these women as they transition into their new life.  We are best known through our economic empowerment piece – job opportunities to survivors of sex trafficking selling bras.

Bras?

Yes, bras. Every woman has a small graveyard of bras in the back of her underwear drawer—bras that she doesn’t wear anymore or that never fit right in the first place. By contrast, second-hand clothing is a profitable market in many countries around the world. Bras are sought after items. And even better, bras provide an opportunity for the women in our program to establish their own businesses, to have flexible hours so they can return to school and care for their families and, most of all, to work with other women—a contrast to their former lives where they were being abused and used by men.

How You Can Help

Start by donating those bras lingering in the back of your lingerie drawer to Free The Girls. Then, encourage your friends to do the same. Hold a bra drive in your community. Give up your favorite vice once a week—the double soy latte, the drive-thru dinner, or the second glass of wine during happy hour—and, at the end of the month, total up your savings and sign up to be a monthly donor to support Free The Girls job creation program. In short, resolve to be an Everyday Abolitionist.

What does it mean to be an Everyday Abolitionist?

If you are like most people, you might think that the only way to make a difference is to “go big or go home.” Free The Girls knows that real life doesn’t work that way. Becoming an Everyday Abolitionist is simple, and it doesn’t require you give up all your spare time or make an endowment-worthy donation.

Everyday Abolitionists take a stand against modern day slavery in their everyday lives. They take advantage of opportunities like donating bras they never wear. They write a note to a survivor of sex trafficking. They buy a Free The Girls t-shirt as a conversation starter. They use social media to encourage their friends and family to take a stand, too.

Everyday Abolitionists are conscious consumers and purchase fair-trade, slave-free clothing, food, and consumer products whenever possible. Other Everyday Abolitionists hold garage sales and donate the proceeds to local or international projects working on the ground. Many Everyday Abolitionists invite their friends to start a book club that selects books about human trafficking.

Everyday Abolitionists keep an eye out when they encounter people in the service industry (such as manicurists, housekeepers, day laborers, or restaurant kitchen staff) to determine whether that person is being forced to work in return for room and board. They write to their lawmakers demanding laws which impose tougher penalties for pimps, traffickers, and unscrupulous employers; which de-criminalize and expunge records of those arrested for prostitution and employment or immigration matters; and which fund services directed at the rescue and rehabilitation of victims of human trafficking.

Small, simple steps leading to real, tangible results.

Everyday Abolitionists don’t sacrifice their own identity for the cause, they make the cause part of their identity in small, meaningful ways every day.

Ready to join us?

Sign up for our monthly e-newsletter Everyday Abolitionist.

Report suspected human trafficking violations to the National Hotline at 888-373-7888 or text the word INFO to 233733.

One Comment

  • jacqui@nationalplazas.com | February 20, 2015

    Being an everyday abolitionist is a way to start helping this horrendous travesty against people enslaved around the world. Like Melissa says, we don’t have to make a massive donation or start the Underground Railroad. We just have to be willing to start and do some small act of kindness. We plant and water. That’s all we can do. God does the rest.

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