January is “Human Trafficking Awareness Month.” This is such a worldwide significant problem. The industry is so massive, generating $32 million per year, it’s difficult to understand how the subject virtually flies under the radar.
A few reasons may be, firstly, it’s an uncomfortable problem to talk about. I found a few statistics on DoSomething.org that are painful to read. Among the facts, it reads that globally, a human being is sold into slavery at an average of $90. 80% of these human beings are sold into prostitution.
600,000 to 800,000 human beings are trafficked across international borders each year. 70% of them are female, and of these, half of them are children. In the U.S., the average age of a teen sold is 12 to 14 years old. Many of these teens have runaway from sexually abusive homes.
14,500 to 17,500 human beings are trafficked into the United States every single year. The cities of San Francisco, San Diego, and Los Angeles (all in California) are among the 13 highest trafficking areas in the country. Worldwide, there are an estimated 20 to 30 million human beings in the prison of trafficking.
My heart breaks at these facts. Another reason this tragedy flies under the radar is because too many our focused on other things. When I was studying Graphic Design in college, we learned more about marketing product, than raising awareness on important subjects like this.
However, in one class, we were assigned with creating ads for a non-profit organization. I chose Mercy Ministries; my favorite ad of the three I put together is posted above. Headed by Nancy Alcorn, they help young girls dealing with, not only sex trafficking, but eating disorders, “cutting” themselves, unplanned pregnancies and more.
Part of the assignment was to create an original logo for the type of non-profit organization the ads were for. After many, “many” failed attempts, my professor finally gave me a reasonable nod on this one:
After the assignment was over, I presented my class presentation to Mercy Ministries. Although they did not find any need for it, I still felt in my heart that I could use my logo for something.
This month, I plan to re-make this logo (in order to make it poster-sized) and tie it into short messages important for young women to hear. I’ve attempted this before, but had a lot of trouble with how to present what I wanted to say. I will give it another try. Mainly, I want to speak against using women as sex symbols in advertising, movies, and fashion. The source of a woman’s confidence should not come from the number of people telling her how pretty she looks. It can’t be external, but internal.
This has to be stated more eloquently. The messages have to carry the right tone. They also cannot be mean-spirited, where I come across as self-righteous, either. I’ve had a difficult time with this aspect of the project. Perhaps, I should simply write an essay on the subject and choose certain phrases out of it to include in the posters I want to create.
I’ll see what I come up with.
Eric Christopher Jackson