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Abolitionists

by Kati Brandt | January 26, 2015

“If to be feelingly alive to the sufferings of my fellow-creatures is to be a fanatic, I am one of the most incurable fanatics ever permitted to be at large.”
—William Wilberforce

This is the final post in this series. Some of the things we’ve learned may be shocking and hard to comprehend. But they are real. And I thought the best way to finish would be to talk about realistic ways that each of us can be an abolitionist. Because for as horrific and overwhelming as the fight against slavery can be there are incredible stories of freedom and amazing people working to see a real end to the abuse of human life. Once we know that it’s a problem we are responsible for that knowledge. Not everyone can drop their lives and spend their days freeing people from slavery. But we can speak up, we can be aware of our surroundings; we can be a voice for people who don’t have one.

There are so many organizations working on informing the public and advocating for justice beyond CBE. I will highlight only a tiny percent here. So be on the look out for companies and products out there that are fighting for freedom. Some are Christian organizations and some aren’t but I think it’s important to remember we need everyone if we are actually going to change the world. So here are some of my favorites (in no particular order) and how you can get involved and stay up to date.

  1. International Justice Mission
  2. Sak Saum
  3. Pearl Alliance
  4. Not For Sale
  5. Polaris Project
  6. Breaking Free
  7. The A21 Campaign

Check them out. Follow them on social media. Find out how you can volunteer. Sak Saum, for instance is teaching women in Cambodia how to sew, giving them a skill they can use instead of prostitution to provide for themselves and their families. Involvement can be as easy as buying a wallet…and then telling all your friends about it.  The Polaris Project has a whole portion of their site dedicated to teaching people how to recognize signs of a trafficked person. But, I think, the easiest way we can advocate for freedom is by using our voices. We now have all kinds of resources in front of us to help us stay informed. If we are ever going to see real change we need the world to be informed and aware.

If you find yourself wanting to give up your life and start breaking down the doors of brothels and factories then by all means, I’m not going to stop you. I just find that when I have conversations with people I’m often met with “Yeah, that’s sad but what am I going to do about it?” or “I wish you wouldn’t have told me that. I don’t want to know that.” It’s a lot to take in. It’s a lot to comprehend. And often times the world feels a lot bigger than we want it too, so it’s a fair question. There are going to be people who are ready to jump in head first. And then there are people who aren’t ready. It’s okay to not feel called to that. The world needs people that can start conversations, spread the word, people that can buy purses and like Facebook updates and donate time and money to ending slavery. There’s a part for everyone in this. You just have to find your place.

The reality is though that this is not a problem that will go away if we pretend it isn’t happening. Problems generally don’t work like that. It’s hard to think that this happens to people just like us. It happens in the U.S. It could easily be me or you or your children that get kidnapped, or forced into slavery. And if that were the case, how would you react to the statement “I wish I didn’t know about this. I don’t want to think about it.” I stated this last week but, God calls us to love one another as we love ourselves. We have to stand up for each other because who else will?

“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.”
—William Wilberforce

[Editor's note: This is Kati's final post in a 4-post series. Her first, second, and third posts are also available on our blog. In addition to the awesome organizations she mentions, CBE has a wealth of information about sex trafficking, including an article written by the founder of one of the organizations she mentions, Breaking Free.]

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Haya Benitez.