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Monday, June 25, 2012

Our Actions Count... Part 4


~Help Stop Human Trafficking at the Source~

Well here it is- Part 4.  I hope you’ve been following along because we’re at the end now of a four-part series entitled ‘Our Actions Count’.  It’s for parents, teachers, care-givers, grandparents and anyone really with them aim of thrashing out some ideas that will:

4.   Help stop human trafficking at the source.

In Part 1, I wrote about exercising delayed gratification.  I believe that when we practice this, we are also learning self-control.  In such an instant world, where we can have what we want, when we want it ... this skill is actually a difficult one to develop.
Media, such as magazine ads, TV, video games, and music videos leave lasting effects in our minds.  Most of the messages we receive tell us that we don’t need to wait… we can have it all and we need it all now!
I really like these ideas adapted from www.freetoshop.org that outline some of the many ways that we can stop human trafficking at the source.
1.  Understand that human trafficking victims are often forced to participate in pornography and prostitution against their will.  They are the victims of criminal activity.
2.  Recognize the danger of pornography as being unhealthy and addictive.  Pornography, time and time again, sexualizes women and instills the belief that the sex acts portrayed are normal.  It also repeatedly degrades and humiliates women with acts of violence coupled with pain and suffering.
3.  Realize that prostitution inflicts enormous physical and psychological damage on the victim and that sexual abuse is the norm.
4.  Educate your children about better entertainment options than going to strip clubs, raunchy bachelor parties and x-rated movies.  (Encourage your sons to find other ways to express manhood and male bonding that doesn’t involve male dominance or control over women).
5.  Just like discussed in Part 2 of this series, parents should “raise the bar” for their sons by having a high expectation of how their sons show respect for women, sex and their family.
6.  Be a good role model for your children in your actions, words and deeds.  Fathers and older brothers should drop the “good ole boys” view of sexual exploits and attitudes that are often found in male dominated environments such as sports bars, golf courses, fraternities, locker rooms, etc.
7.   Find a resource, suited to your family, that would aid in the discussion and education of what sustainable, loving relationships and healthy, fulfilling sex should look like for both your sons and daughters.  Parents really shouldn’t avoid talking about sex, pornography and choices with their children otherwise they will simply get an unhealthy view of these issues from someone else.  For a starting place, check out the Focus on the Family website. 
8.  Learn more about human trafficking and educate others while engaging in activism that supports the end of modern day slavery.
9.  Support anti-trafficking organizations (like ZOE) as well as policies and laws that help to stem the tide of modern day slavery and human trafficking.
10.  YOU CAN create change using your gifts, talents and knowledge through the use of the written word, public speaking, volunteerism and responsible consumerism.
11. Help your child/teen protect themselves from being exposed to unwanted pornographic material by setting clear, consistent rules with them around the use of technology.
12. Get familiar with technology. If your kids are using it, so should you. Make sure you understand concepts like email, texting, IMing, gaming, social networking, phone features and web cameras.  Discuss Internet safety frequently with your children and at every age level.
13. Ask your kids about Facebook and MySpace. Check your child's privacy settings.  Many people still have personal data exposed and they don’t even know it.
I’m hoping this series has encouraged you, as much as it has me, to keep working on both developing self-control and practicing delayed gratification within your family.  
I desperately want to raise boys that don’t treat women as objects but learn to be real men with pure motives. 
I am excited to see what will happen as we keep talking about these sensitive issues like pornography and sexual exploitation and how (if we can change the moral fiber of our communities) we can bring about real change and decrease the staggering numbers of people being trapped in modern day slavery.
OUR ACTIONS REALLY DO COUNT!
Please raise awareness of these issues by SHARING this series with your circle of influence.

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