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February 23 serves as a day to shine a light on slavery across the globe.

Freedom fighters and advocates draw a red “X” on their hand to show the world around them that they are in it to win the fight against slavery.

This creates awareness, and freedom fighters are encouraged to send questionnaires to enditmovement.com for more information.

Personally, I proudly have a red “X” on my hand. For people that think this is a silly trend, it’s not. Conversations about modern day slavery come up; therefore awareness is drawn from it.

A lie that I have let myself believe is that slavery is a thing of the past and doesn’t affect me at all. Sadly, there are more people in slavery now than ever in history. Trafficking of humans alone is the 3rd largest criminal offense in the world, only behind illegal drug and firearm trafficking.

Another lie that I have let myself believe is that slavery doesn’t happen in America. However, the United States is not immune to this terrible crime. Thousands of people are trafficked into the US yearly for forced labor and sexual exploitation.

An estimated 200,000 American children are at risk of being lured into sex trafficking each year.

The Indianapolis Star ran a story that read, “In southwestern Indiana, a man allegedly abducted a woman from the streets of Evansville and took her to his rural mobile home in Stewartsville, about 10 miles from the Illinois line.

Police say he kept her confined in a cage, tethered with a leather belt around her neck and another around her waist. Repeatedly, he forced her to have sex with him with the intention of impregnating her. Sometimes, he did so with his live-in girlfriend — a woman whom relatives say was also living in fear — lying in the same bed. The woman managed to escape last weekend.

The man faces charges of rape, kidnapping and criminal confinement.”

This happens in America, in Indiana, and in Evansville.

We need to raise awareness.

We need to have those difficult conversations.

We need to fight.

I will proudly wear a red “X” on my hand until I don’t have to worry about my work children becoming a statistic.

I choose to be a part of the #EnditMovement.

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University of Southern Indiana's student publication
More than an “X”