Recognizing National Human Trafficking Awareness Month
For many years, the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, have partnered with others to stop human trafficking.
January is National Human Trafficking Prevention Month and today is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day.
Sister Barbara Sheehan, SP, has fought the good fight with others to stop human trafficking for years. Recently, she sat down and discussed how she feels about these atrocities.
“I feel horrified when I think about human trafficking,” Sister Barbara said. “It is a modern-day form of slavery and sexual abuse. It is, as others have described it, a shadow secret hidden from the public who are unaware it is going on.”
Research and More Research
Sister Barbara has researched and studied the effects human trafficking has on victims and the general public for years. Take some time to read more of her research in this PowerPoint presentation by clicking here.
For many years, the Sisters of Providence have sought to end human trafficking, defined as an assault on human dignity that “especially, but not exclusively, impacts women and children.” We have partnered with other organizations and continue to educate and advocate for the end of it.
It Happens Everywhere
“Human trafficking happens in affluent neighborhoods and non-affluent neighborhoods,” Sister Barbara said. “It is a horrible domination and control over the most vulnerable, including the young in developmental stages of searching for identity and sense of belonging.
“It is clandestine and objectifies its victim … and my feelings are it makes me sick in knowing about it and having worked with those in the healing process from being trafficked.”
Protecting the Vulnerable
Sister Barbara said the most vulnerable are typically the victims of human trafficking.
“It is due to poverty, racial identity and developmental issues. Even migrants and immigrants are victims of human trafficking,” she stated. “No one seeks to be trafficked yet are lured into it by its perpetrators because of one’s feelings of non-belonging, lack of care and connection with persons of one’s origins.”
Help Us End Human Trafficking
According to statistics, there are nearly 25 million people around the world annually who are victims of human trafficking, Sister Barbara said.
“It is an affront to the values of all created in God’s image,” she said.
We will continue to work with others to help end human trafficking. During this month … no, for the entire year and for the rest of our lives, think about those who have been trafficked. Against their will. It’s not what they wanted. And we, together, can help put a stop to it all.