My friend Brian posted this on Facebook and it stuck with me.
This week, my friend Bronwyn posted a series of blogs at bronlea.com to help raise awareness about the realities of sex slavery and sex trafficking worldwide and in our own cities. She asked for action: a donation of one dollar toward those who fight against human trafficking, praying for one minute, or sharing one post on social media. I ended up dedicating part of my NaNoDrawMo efforts – and today’s “comic” post – toward this. Below are the drawings I did as well as links to the related posts on Bronwyn’s blog. PLEASE click through and read them.
For all of these drawings, I used the warm greys from my new Chartpak marker set, along with some of the light blue shades for accents. I also used a grey Tombow brush pen for lettering and ink, along with a black liner pen as necessary.
“I know, I know. You want to stop reading already because the topic is too hard, too unfathomable, too desperate. But will you stay with me? Because there are kids right under our noses who are desperate for someone to find them and bring them to safety. They are scared and hurting and so very courageous. . . .” Read more at “A Courageous One (bronlea.com).”
Liz Williamson, a survivor of sex trafficking, lent her words to Bronwyn’s post, “Liz’s Story (bronlea.com).” (This was the first piece I made because that line about sleeping with sneakers on made my breath catch in my throat.)
It’s time for linguistic reform. Thinking of prostitutes generally as women who are choosing a particular line of work is no longer accurate. Bronwyn writes at “Prostitute: It may not mean what you think it means (bronlea.com)” that “the alarming truth of the sex trade today is that a vast majority of those who exchange sex for money in our day and age are not choosing to do so. . . . They are, to all extents and purposes, sex SLAVES: sold for another’s profit.”
“There are 29.8 million slaves in the world today. 60,000 of those are in the USA. Reflecting on this led my friend, Liz Below, to write a Psalm for the 29 Million.” I’m most proud of the reflection in the eyes in this piece – it’s one of those subtle details that is easy to overlook.
Finally, Bronwyn challenges men to speak up. “If you stay silent, you may have protected your own character in that situation, but your silence is interpreted as indifference. . . . The sex trafficking industry relies on secrecy to thrive, and when we fail to say something, we allow it to keep its secrets.” Read her “Letter to Men (bronlea.com).”
Finally, in Bronwyn’s words:
This #ACourageousOne project is to raise awareness, money and hope about the reality of sex trafficking right around us. There are tens of thousands of invisible women and children – courageous ones – in need of rescue and restoration.
We can help. This week, support a courageous one by giving #ACourageousOne of your own:
- Donate ONE DOLLAR to fight sex trafficking (here, here, or here, if you need a suggestion.)
- Pray for ONE MINUTE for God to rescue victims, and give courage to women and men to speak and act as we ought. (Here is a Psalm to meditate on, as a suggestion)
- Share ONE POST on social media to raise awareness about this issue. This is happening in our communities, so if we speak up within our communities, someone directly involved is going to hear.
Thank you for supporting the thousands of courageous ones with your Courageous One. We can make a difference!