During the 5th century BC, the prized Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu wrote a military treatise titled The Art of War. Since its publication, this book has been considered by many to be the definitive text on military strategy and warfare.
Military strategists, business owners, athletes and many more have utilized the strategies presented to defeat their opponents and bring victory.
Make no mistake about the war against human trafficking.
This is a war.
This is a brutal, vicious war.
The casualties and wounded of this war are human beings and their families.
One of the most horrible characteristics of this war is that, long after a major battle, the wounded carry a trauma that is not easily or quickly defeated.
Those who are fighting to eliminate modern day slavery receive wounds as well. While they may not be the same as those who are trafficked, there is a price to be paid by them in this war.
Opportunities Have Multiplied – Let’s Seize Them
The past 4 weeks has seen an explosion of social sharing and conversation about the war against human trafficking. Many people, for the first time, are becoming aware of the horrors of the war that we’ve been waging. Friends who I have spoken with have been at a loss for words when they find out what is happening to women and men in all of our communities. Horrors that have been hidden in plain sight for years.
Let’s be clear here.
All of our allies in the war who are fighting this on a daily basis are, like us, grateful to see the spike in awareness. The greatest need in our society is to educate everyday people on what trafficking is, how to recognize the signs of trafficking, what actions to take with law enforcement and how to support local organizations who are battling on a daily basis.
Every set of eyes that are educated to recognize actual trafficking (and not conspiracies and fear) will impact their communities. They will know to report what they see to law enforcement. They are allies who will bring about freedom for those who are enslaved. This allows justice to be served to those who are exploiting the vulnerable to rape (literally) and pillage any money or freedom they may have.
Again, the psychological and physical wounds that the trauma of being raped repeatedly brings will take years to heal. It will take a team of professionals from many walks of life in order to bring about healing that will allow victims to believe in themselves and their value as people.
Right now is the time for those of us who have experience in the war to help educate those who are beginning to learn about it.
Right now is the time for those who are learning about it to get educated on what human trafficking looks like in real life.
Focus Your Passion … Where It Can Actually Help People
This is where it gets dicey.
While the awareness has been a blessing, the messaging it has brought has, in many cases, politicized, polarized and angered people into a hashtag frenzy.
We have been crystal clear since the beginning of our organization 13 years ago.
Human trafficking is not in any way, form or fashion a political issue.
Human trafficking is a human rights issue.
“To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.” Sun Tzu, The Art of War
Propaganda has proven to be an invaluable tool in war.
Effective propaganda will get people to turn their eyes and ears towards something that inflames their emotions. It’s happening today in our war.
… and it is hurting our cause.
- Makes a particular group of people (who you already don’t like) become the ultimate enemy
- Comes from some secret source on the internet who claims to know secrets that no one else knows
- Comes from someone finding a match with the name of a company’s product to one of the 400,000+ names listed with Center for Missing and Exploited Children
- Comes from emailing someone about having an event at their pizza place.
Propaganda makes enemies of people who are not our enemies in the war. Then … even if you do “win” against them … you’ve done literally nothing to stop the war.
Spreading misinformation and conspiracy theories only truly helps one group – the traffickers who are going after our young and vulnerable in our communities.
By taking our focus off of learning how trafficking happens … By taking our focus off of how to protect the vulnerable in our communities, we allow traffickers to freely continue their work unabated.
If you’re focused on Hollywood and pizza parlors, you are not focused on your neighborhood. And you have no idea how to recognize what is happening in your community.
Do you want to put your passion to good use?
- Ask Fierce Freedom to train and certify your business or organization
- Learn what trafficking is from people who are in the fight every day – Podcast, Videos, Facebook
- Learn the signs of trafficking at hotels, truck stops, restaurants, hospitals, schools
- Look for those signs, notify law enforcement when you see them and speak about this with others in your community
- Financially support those who have been and continue to fight the war in your area