Eleven years ago today, Polaris Project was founded with the belief that everyday people could come together to do extraordinary things to end modern slavery and human trafficking. Now, more than ever, I see that we are collectively achieving that vision.
Just this week, the U.S. Senate passed the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA), the cornerstone legislation in America’s fight against human trafficking.
Thousands of you called and emailed your Senators, urging them to make this bill a priority. Your efforts paid off. The Senate overwhelmingly passed this legislation 93-5 as an amendment to the Violence Against Women Act. Fittingly, this action occurred on President Lincoln’s birthday.
Soon we’ll be calling on you again to urge the House of Representatives to pass the TVPRA and help victims of trafficking survive and thrive in freedom and dignity.
Of course, the fight against human trafficking isn’t only waged on Capitol Hill. It’s on our streets, our neighborhoods, our online communities. All over the United States, when people see the young girl being abused by her pimp and sold for commercial sex or the nanny down the street who is too afraid to leave the house because she’s been threatened by her employers – ordinary citizens are taking action. They are calling the National Human Trafficking Hotline (1-888-373-7888), operated around the clock by Polaris Project.
Last month, Polaris Project’s call specialists answered a record-breaking 2,850 calls. That’s 65% higher than our entire 2012 monthly average. In this one month, we:
- Identified 323 victims of human trafficking across the country and connected them to services and assistance,
- Directly supported 71 survivors who called on their own behalf, and
- Reported 114 potential cases of human trafficking to law enforcement.
Extraordinary actions. Extraordinary results. Regardless of whether you first learned about human trafficking through your classroom, church, job, or a news story, we are all now working together and making real progress. We are helping victims rebuild their lives through the hotline and through our Client Services programs in New Jersey and Washington, D.C. We are helping pass new laws that increase support for victims and lead to more prosecutions of traffickers.
Every day, we are working together to reach more and more people who need our help. Do you want to do more? Today? Here are five things you can do right now:
February 14 is also V-Day – a day dedicated to ending violence against women and girls. Honor this day and help us embark upon our second decade of success by taking just one of the actions above.