Shine A Light On Slavery

Shine A Light On Slavery

Be in it to end it.

Yesterday, Feb 23, was something called “shine a light on slavery day”. While this may seem like a small gesture, people around the world, inspired by the "End it Movement" drew red X's on their hands, wore a big red X, and posted pictures on their social media raising awareness for human trafficking. While drawing the X’s doesn’t end slavery, it raises awareness among people about this $32 billion industry that thrives on the exploitation of humans just like you and me. This industry is the trade and enslavement of humans and more specifically the trade of humans for sex.

While this movement to draw and wear x’s comes from the “End it Movement”, who partners with organizations such as Out of Darkness, The International Justice Mission, a21, and others, the movement has grown. Just a few days ago, Ashton Kutcher presented before the Senate calling for more action to tackle child sex abuse. Celebrities posted pictures with the End it X, people like Carrie Underwood, and Kristen Bell.

Lately, I have begun to realize the shocking presence of the sex trade in our society today and how desperately it needs to be addressed. Today, over 20 million people around the world sold and bought. An estimated 300,000 of these victims are children, meaning 1 in 5 victims under the age of 18 and the average age to enter the slave trade is 12 years’ old. In a school sponsored event this week I learned typical timeline for teenage girl entering sex trade beginning anywhere between ages 12-15 girls may run away from home, be picked up by a pimp, put on a site like "back-page" and very quickly start servicing between 5-10 men a night. There is a very low possibility these girls will ever be rescued, only 1-2% of slaves ever are. They may run away from the sex trade, may get too old, or may never leave this industry.

In 1850 an average slave cost $40,000 in today’s money, and today, a slave costs about $90. Every 30 seconds, someone becomes a victim, and there are more slaves than at any other point in history.

The unfortunate reality is that we are all connected to slavery. People our age, both boys and girls are sold in the slave trade. People our little sister's age, our little brother's age. While the reality is that we are closer to human trafficking and sex slavery than we think, we are closer to ending it than we think. We can raise awareness – learn how through the End it Movement, wear an X and show that you stand to bring an end to this industry. Know the warning signs among people your age. Become educated through the International Justice Mission, Department of Homeland Security. Advocate for this issue with your friends and family, like I am now. Realize that this isn't a Christian issue, a racial issue, a male or female issue, or a US issue, but this is a human issue. Realize the reality of this horror in our society, and be in it to end it.

Cover Image Credit: Becca Colehower

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I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

You raise your protest picket signs and I’ll raise my white picket fence.

Social Media feeds are constantly filled with quotes on women's rights, protests with mobs of women, and an array of cleverly worded picket signs.

Good for them, standing up for their beliefs and opinions. Will I be joining my tight-knit family of the same gender?

Nope, no thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be oblivious to my history and the advancements that women have fought to achieve. I am aware that the strides made by many women before me have provided us with voting rights, a voice, equality, and equal pay in the workforce.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Would Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

For that, I am deeply thankful. But at this day in age, I know more female managers in the workforce than male. I know more women in business than men. I know more female students in STEM programs than male students. So what’s with all the hype? We are girl bosses, we can run the world, we don’t need to fight the system anymore.

Please stop.

Because it is insulting to the rest of us girls who are okay with being homemakers, wives, or stay-at-home moms. It's dividing our sisterhood, and it needs to stop.

All these protests and strong statements make us feel like now we HAVE to obtain a power position in our career. It's our rightful duty to our sisters. And if we do not, we are a disappointment to the gender and it makes us look weak.

Weak to the point where I feel ashamed to say to a friend “I want to be a stay at home mom someday.” Then have them look at me like I must have been brain-washed by a man because that can be the only explanation. I'm tired of feeling belittled for being a traditionalist.


Because why should I feel bad for wanting to create a comfortable home for my future family, cooking for my husband, being a soccer mom, keeping my house tidy? Because honestly, I cannot wait.

I will have no problem taking my future husband’s last name, and following his lead.

The Bible appoints men to be the head of a family, and for wives to submit to their husbands. (This can be interpreted in so many ways, so don't get your panties in a bunch at the word “submit”). God specifically made women to be gentle and caring, and we should not be afraid to embrace that. God created men to be leaders with the strength to carry the weight of a family.

However, in no way does this mean that the roles cannot be flipped. If you want to take on the responsibility, by all means, you go girl. But for me personally? I'm sensitive, I cry during horror movies, I'm afraid of basements and dark rooms. I, in no way, am strong enough to take on the tasks that men have been appointed to. And I'm okay with that.

So please, let me look forward to baking cookies for bake sales and driving a mom car.

And I'll support you in your endeavors and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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We Can't Get Rid Of All Our Guns, But We Can Regulate Bullets

We won't take away all your guns. We'll just make sure the things that do the killing - the bullets - won't get into the hands of the wrong people.


Nearly 400 million civilian-owned firearms are in the United States, and the gun debate is more prevalent than ever.

The question we always hear is whether or not we should be further regulating our firearms. What is often left all too forgotten, is that it's the bullets that do the killing, not the guns.

Regulating the sales of guns themselves is, of course, very important. However, with so many guns already in the possession of Americans, regulating the sale of guns themselves can only do so much.

Bullets differ in weight and velocity, but many can shatter bones and leave gaping wounds. They are obviously extremely destructive, but they are as easy to purchase as a pack of gum in many states. In these states, large retailers are selling bullets, and bullets can also be bought online. No questions asked.

In 2013 it was reported that about 10 billion rounds are produced in the U.S. every year, however, there are far fewer producers of this ammunition than there are producers of firearms, making the ammunition industry easier to regulate.

The idea of regulating bullets is not only doable, but it is far more likely that it will gain support from Americans then would banning all guns. The Gun Control Act of 1968 required all retailers to log ammunition sales and prohibited all mail-order purchases, however, this was lifted by President Reagan.

Today, it would be very possible to implement similar regulations. Strict control of the production and sale of outwardly dangerous bullets would be simple with the use of technology and due to the fewer number of producers of bullets than of firearms.

In states like Massachusetts and New Jersey, it is required that you have a license or permit to purchase bullets. This is a common-sense law that should, and can, be enacted nationwide.

We have two extremes to this gun debate; banning all guns or keeping what people see as our Second Amendment right.

Debates, protests, and fighting over this topic has gotten us little to nowhere. Yet, what we keep forgetting is that we all can agree on something; we all just want to feel safe and protected.

Common sense control of bullets is a sort of middle ground that reminds us as Americans that what we need the most is safety in our country, while also feeling like our rights have not been infringed upon.

We won't take away all your guns. We'll just make sure the things that do the killing - the bullets - won't get into the hands of the wrong people.

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