Human Trafficking Vicarious Trauma

Blank Blank Blank Awareness Month

I never really understood awareness months. I thought they were just times people wore different colored ribbons to support, or I guess oppose, child abuse or breastfeeding cancer or human trafficking or domestic violence.
If all you do to combat child abuse is to wear the appropriate colored ribbon for a week, day, or month, don’t bother. The only good it might possibly do is make you feel better.
I really didn’t have any clue why these months existed until I guess I became an expert of sorts and suddenly I find that certain months my schedule is slam packed with speaking engagements.
Some people out there, really want to make a difference and use these dates to plan events, trainings and awareness programs. They educate many about the issue and how they can truly help.
Whether they use these awareness months as personal motivation or deadlines for what they want to do, or whether they just strategically use awareness months to modivate others to attend their events, I do not know.
But however awareness months work, a lot of good training and education happen during awareness months, a lot of seeds and planted, ideas hatched, and we push the needle forward, just a little bit, in the race to end abuse and exploitation.
And yes, I may join my colleagues in complaining that no work gets done in January and April, because we are all too busy talking, speaking, training; but the truth is, we do it because we know it’s important vitally important to our mission and we are honored that you want to hear our thoughts and join this fight.
And sure, sometimes we end up at events that are organized as part of a power struggle or a bid for attention, and we know as soon as we arrive when that is the case. You can’t hide it. But most of the events we attend, even if I’m grumbling on the way there, I end up excited about the conversations that have been had and the forward movement in the bid to stop the exploitation.
I’ve spoken at some great events in the last few weeks. Of course, I’m ready for this month to be over and to get back to some other projects and to my cases.
But I’m going to stop fighting it, and just embrace it. It’s Victim Something Awareness Month guys.
Don’t wear a ribbon. But if you want to find out how you can make a difference, NOW is a great time to do it.
And if you want to start a new non-profit, start one that offers free therapy for the officers, prosecutors, and other experts who have to hear and tell child abuse stories all month long.

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