Written by Brittni Bryan, Second Life of Chattanooga Intern

 

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In any battle fought, there are multiple tactics that must be employed in order to achieve a victory. Should we try a full frontal assault or maybe send half our troops around behind the enemy and attack from the rear? Such questions are certainly crucial to the fight to end human sex trafficking! This booming business relies on both a steady customer demand as well as a steady stream of commodities, or shall we say, victims.

Naturally then, in trying to overcome the monster of human trafficking, abolitionists need to focus their efforts on both reducing the demand and decreasing the supply. Here in Chattanooga we have strong partners such as Forgiven Much Ministries and the Chattanooga Coalition Against Human Trafficking who are working hard at addressing the demand side of things. However, what can be done right now, today, to start building a dam blocking that steady stream of victims?

Well, November is National Runaway Prevention Month. All around the country community advocates are pushing initiatives to raise awareness about this issue. You may ask, “how does this issue connect to human sex trafficking”? Well, the Polaris Project recently published a statistic estimating that “1 in 7 endangered runaways reported to them were likely sex trafficking victims” (2014). With approximately 300,000 children at risk of becoming trafficked in the U.S. (The Covering House, 2014), the number of runaways …resides somewhere around 42,900. This number certainly poses a large contribution to the ‘supply’ side of this business of slavery.

As abolitionists in this fight to end the buying and selling of human beings, we also need to be aware of how social issues in our society often connect, interweave, and reinforce each other. As such, we need to be concerned about societal concerns such as poverty rates, youth transitions out of foster care, abuse within families, and certainly runaway rates, as all these contribute heavily to the steady stream of trafficking victims.

So what can you do this month to focus on decreasing the supply of human trafficking victims? Well, you can start by wearing green socks…

Yes, green socks. According to the Family & Youth Services Bureau (FSB), community minded individuals interested in spreading awareness about runaway prevention can decide to wear lime green socks on any day of November they choose (2011)! If you are looking for a simple but effective way to create crucial conversation surrounding runaway prevention, human sex trafficking abolition, or even the complex interrelated nature of the many concerns facing our society today, this tactic is especially designed for you!

Simply put on a pair of green socks, step out your front door, and be ready to speak to the people you meet on behalf of our country’s vulnerable, hurting children!

 

FSB, (2011). National runaway prevention month celebrates ten years of ‘making the

connection’. Retrieved from: http://ncfy.acf.hhs.gov/news/2011/11/national-runaway-prevention-month-celebrates-ten-years-making-connection

Polaris, (2014). Sex Trafficking in the U.S. Retrieved from:

http://www.polarisproject.org/human-trafficking/sex-trafficking-in-the-us

The Covering House, (2014). Rerieved from: http://thecoveringhouse.org/act/resources-2/sex-trafficking-statistics-source-documentation/