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Lydia Dawson is a student at Fresno State and our new intern. This is her first blog for us.

Graffiti librationThe word freedom is one that I have heard many times since I began interning here at CVJC, and it now seems to be stuck in my head.

This is the word that has permeated my prayers recently, and I am finding great power in that word. Freedom is what we are working for, in the world of human trafficking, and in our own lives as well; freedom from fear, from sin, or from insecurities.

But I have never had to worry about my own physical freedom. Growing up without fear of anyone is a huge gift, which many do not get to experience.

Since starting with Central Valley Justice Coalition in January, I have learned that human trafficking is much more prevalent and destructive than I ever thought. It is huge and global, but also local and personal.

Someone needs to do something, to bring freedom to these people who are deprived of that basic human right, but what can one person do?

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One person can do a great deal! In all the trafficking stories I have heard or read, a single person plays an instrumental role.

The victim is not ultimately rescued by an organization, a church, or a government agency, but by one person who will not stop until the victim is free. I am learning that we cannot all wait until someone does something.

We cannot hope that new legislation will fix all of society’s problems, or that any one organization will eradicate all trafficking. In order to see an end to trafficking, lots of people will need to be involved.

I am free; my lifestyle is centered on that fact.

I go about my day as someone who has choices, and as someone who is loved. It is easy to forget that there are those who are not free; but it is the harsh truth.

There are young children being exploited all over the world, people are treated as if they are not even human, and many people live in slavery, not knowing that anyone loves them or cares about them. That is not how I want this world to be.

I understand that as a single person I may not ever have a huge impact, but that should never stop me from trying to make things better.20160123_000928849_iOS

I have noticed that movements need a lot of people. We may not all be the leader, we probably won’t all devote our lives to preventing trafficking, and we may not even have much hope; but we need to be active and present, speaking about trafficking and doing what we can to stop and prevent it.

A movement needs an ambitious leader, and a grand vision; but it will not gain momentum unless there are people to support and grow it.

I have learned that there is a great deal of small things that a single person can do, and now it is my duty to go and do them!

  • Not getting paid for their labor
  • Not free to change employers
  • Being controlled by someone else
  • Being forced to do something they don’t want to do
  • Has been cheated into payment of debt upon arrival

You, he, or she may be a victim of human trafficking and eligible for free assistance.

Call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888.373.7888 for more information. Or, text INFO or HELP to BEFREE (233733)

Contact us at 559.725.1865 for support, resources, and consultation. You can also contact the Fresno Police Tip Line at 559. 621.5950

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