I have been following the various different organisations that tackle modern slavery around the world for a couple of years. However, I have been fairly passive in my interest. This is not because I don’t want to get involved, more because I am entirely intimidated by the whole thing.
I am a sensitive soul, and it doesn’t take much to make me ‘imagine’ what something is like. it was actually the film ‘Taken’ which really prompted me to start looking at this slavery. It made me so angry that Liam Neeson’s character went to save his daughter, but left all these girls behind. It felt to me, to entirely capture the story of these women. For the majority of slaves in the world, they and their plight is little more than a statistic. All of these women pointed out in Taken were there to paint the scene of the horrors in store for the main character. It was some colour to give the story more urgency.
I love my family, I am a proper home girl really. I like having comforts around me, I am pretty independent, and I like to know what is going on. The idea of being unable to contact my family, of being forced to do what I did not do, being told daily I am useless, feel that there is no hope left, no escape, no freedom. To be sold as a possession to people who care no more for you than they would cattle, I read in an article the other day that women could be sold for $90! (Can’t find the reference, so don’t quote me as a source!) Even so, the idea that anyone can be sold as property at all is sickening.
I cannot really put into words the fear I feel at the prospect of this kind of thing happening in my neighbourhood. This last week there were raids in Birmingham, the freeing of slaves there. It is here in our country, and we don’t know!
I went to an A21 gala dinner the other night to hear about what they are doing. It was amazing to hear all the stories of what is going on. However, the thing that struck me most was a conversation with one of the women there. She mentioned that the thing that she comes across most in the women they see rescued, is mental health problems. This is not due to forced drug use, or any of the other common thoughts of what happens to these individuals. It is due to the mental destruction of their strength.
These people are told they are nothing, they are worthless, meaningless, that they will never be free, no one wants to help them or set them free. They are told it so consistently that they lose hope, they lose the will to fight, they break.
Depression is something I live with daily. I have all these thoughts in my head, but I have people around to counter them. I live in a comfortable house, I have freedom. To come out of captivity to find that the battle for freedom is only just beginning as you start to fight to find your character again, your mind, yourself, must as a thought in itself be exhausting.
‘You stand for freedom,
you stand for justice in this world,
so many stolen, slaves to the shadows of this earth,
but these are your sons and daughters God,
and although the darkness seems so strong,
your fire of Justice breaks the night, we hear you cry
Let my people go‘
I can’t be passive anymore. There are so many problems in this world, and for each of us we need to work out what it is we want to fight. I am joining in this one. There should not be 30 million slaves in the world today, this has to end.
The A21 home page says ‘No one can do everything, but everyone can do something‘ I don’t even know what I can do yet, but I guess we will find out…..
For any more information on this issue, here are a couple of organisations working in it – not all by any means, but a start: