Saying goodbye to one dress is bittersweet. I am over joyed with the fact that I got to wake up this morning, put on jeans and put on one of my favorite tops. But I am saying goodbye to an eye-opening month - both in learning more about sex trafficking and in learning about poverty.
My biggest surprise and most eye opening experience came from hearing that sex trafficking is what domestic violence and rape were years ago in that the victims are stigmatized and blamed. Victims are labeled 'child prostitutes...' and this has colored America's view of the victims. Until recently victims of child prostitutions automatically were jailed. The johns aren't arrested for statuatory rape, as the victim is a 'prostitute.' And truth be told - all victims have one thing in common - they are vulnerable youth looking to fill a void. Some desire to escape, while others in an effort to survive psychologically begin to attach themselves with their pimps (think Stockholm Syndrome). We need a mental shift in how we view the victims of child prostitution.
Not everyone knew that I was doing this one dress thing... either they missed it on Facebook or never look at Facebook... so I had some interesting conversations with folks in the latter part of the month. I had a reason for wearing one dress... but what about people leaving in poverty who can't afford an extensive wardrobe... who are forced to wear the same thing(s) over and over again with no reason other than the $$$? My heart aches. I could see myself withdrawing from social situations, so that people wouldn't notice. I am so thankful that the 'one dress' got to end when I say it ended. I have much to be thankful for.
(P.S. I am looking forward to reading the blog as Emily goes on this journey for the month of August... and am excited about the possibility of it being passed along. I will be forever changed by this experience.)