Dressember 2018: What It Is and Why I’m Doing It

Surprise! An unscheduled post on a Sunday, of all days!

That’s how you know today’s on an important topic.  With December just 5.5 days away, I wanted to share with you something I will be participating in all throughout the last month of the year.

Dressember

Throughout the month of December, thousands of women (and men) around the world commit to dressing differently in order to advocate against human trafficking.  For most of us, that looks like wearing a dress all 31 days of December (see the official challenge here), though men have been known to wear ties or suits throughout the month.  This is more than a fashion challenge, it’s a way to engage in every-day advocacy and take part in making a real difference in our world.

Because human trafficking is a real problem.  While slavery is illegal nearly everywhere, it is also present nearly everywhere.  Here is data from the US State Department’s “2018 Trafficking in Persons Report” that shows how rampant slavery is in our current world:

Taken from U.S. State Department’s “2018 Trafficking in Persons Report,” page 43.

There are many faces of human trafficking today: sex trafficking, child sex trafficking, forced labor, bonded labor or debt bondage, involuntary domestic servitude, forced child labor, and unlawful recruitment and use of child soldiers (DOS, “The Face of Modern Slavery“).  Victims of human trafficking are sometimes physically forced into slavery, but psychological manipulation can also be a very effective tool for traffickers.

But there is hope.  Countless organizations are working to prosecute perpetrators, protect and rescue survivors, and prevent future enslavement.  This year, Dressember advocates are partnering with 12 local and global organizations that rescue victims, serve justice, and restore lives.  Here is how Dressember chooses which organizations to support:

And here are the organizations Dressember is supporting this year:

I believe in freedom for all people in all ways.  As a Christian, my conviction is that Jesus came to upend systems of oppression and restore those whose dignity has been stripped from them by violent people and, more importantly, the spiritual forces of evil in our world that are behind the great evils we see.  Jesus came to set the captives free, and we are called

to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke.
~Isaiah 58:6

Here is a tangible way to do that, with only a little discomfort and inconvenience to myself.  That is why this year I am once again participating in Dressember.

I invite you to participate with me.  Commit to the style challenge and create your own campaign page here.  Contribute even a small donation to my campaign page—I’m trying to raise $500 this year.  And, most importantly, spread the word.  Human trafficking can be hard to fight because it is an issue that is easy to ignore.  Perhaps the biggest way to fight it is to raise awareness.

Next time we talk, I’ll be dress-ing for freedom!

Do you have questions about Dressember?  Want to join the fight?  Let me know in the comments!


Don’t forget that the Phoenix Fiction Writers’ Antiheroes anthology came out! It’s now available in both paperback AND ebook, and it’s beautiful!You can purchase it at your local Amazon, Barnes and Noble website, or Kobo.

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