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Make The “Voiceless” Heard

There’s a phrase that is popular in the anti-trafficking community: “Voice for the Voiceless”. Organizations and activists alike, will give themselves this title or responsibility, but to be completely honest, it’s incorrect and insensitive.

It is well meant, and often well received, but the truth is, the “voiceless” that we are so desperately fighting for aren’t voiceless at all. They are screaming, crying out, and begging for our help. We cannot speak for them, but we can elevate their voices.

The reality is, it seems easier to speak for them, but we can’t change anything by talking over the victims and survivors.

So how do we make sure their voices are heard? Listen to their stories, one on one. Give survivors and victims the space to share their experience and ask them what they need to begin the process of healing, and what they feel can be done to save others from being trafficked as they were. As for those who are still captive, stop speaking, and listen for their cries. Listen to the young woman in your life who is seeking affirmation in all the wrong places. Recognize those in your life who are pulling away, acting strange. Be conscious of those you may never meet that make the goods you purchase in terrible conditions for little to no wages, by buying fair trade whenever possible.

As daunting as it may seem, stop speaking for the 39 million victims of trafficking and let them speak for themselves. Listen for their cries and make them heard.

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