February 16th is National Do a Grouch a Favor Day, a call to kindness in the name of a grouch. You can celebrate this occasion in a variety of ways — and whether you are the “grouch-er” or the “grouch-ee” doesn’t matter, your kind act will benefit you either way. We’ve all been ill-tempered, irritable, or complained too much, and we all know somebody who engages in those behaviors. There’s no shame in being a grouch: comedian Lewis Black built a very successful and celebrated career on grumpy rants.
Often when I speak as an anti-trafficking advocate, people ask me, “How can we stop this terrible crime?” Or they exclaim, “We’ve got to arrest all the traffickers! Locking them up will solve this problem right away.” Law enforcement is key, but law enforcement alone is not the answer. When we look at the global crime of human trafficking, we realize that it is one of the most important human rights issues of our time. But we cannot examine this problem as separate from other factors.
January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Awareness Month.
Human trafficking is a complicated and potentially overwhelming issue. It is not for the faint of heart. The global struggle can appear impossible to win. But it is not impossible to create positive change. I’ve seen this firsthand, as a survivor, advocate, clinician, and leader. As a survivor, I am often asked, “How did this terrible thing happen to you?” Here, in the first of two consecutive blog posts, I will recount my personal story of surviving trafficking and intimate partner violence, listing the vulnerabilities to my being trafficked.