I will be launching a photographic documentary of restoration after human trafficking entitled, 'America the Oblivious' in 2016. I have designed this personal project to give a palpable voice to the victims of human trafficking.
The disturbing nature of human trafficking, and all of the disgusting circumstances it involves, is often overlooked and ignored globally. The thought of such a horrific happenings in the world today is often simply dismissed by Americans because it makes THEM "uncomfortable". My aim is to visually demonstrate the aftermath of human trafficking in the form of an actual identity instead of a vague, short-lived news report. I will avoid photographing the faces of the victims, in order to keep them safe. My goal is to effectively and beautifully photograph pieces of them & document their stories and hopes for the future. Though their identities will remain anonymous, I want their story & the soul behind the anonymity to be acknowledged as the children of God, the brothers & sisters, sons & daughters....the human beings that they are.
According to the U.S. State Department, 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year, of which 80% are female and half are children. These numbers include your state, your city, your community, your neighborhood and, if we don’t acknowledge the imminent need to raise awareness of this issue, it could be your children.
The sound a child makes when sexually assaulted is often silence and silence is what our society gives them in return. Silence doesn’t make the problem go away, it prolongs it.
I hope to encourage a mindful society by making communities aware of what is happening all around them through a photographic journey which documents the healing of human trafficked victims. In utilizing appropriate photography and educational resources, this project aims to be replicated in additional cities and states nationwide.
In an effort to continue educating myself on the psychological well-being of these victims, ensure absolute discretion, and avoid re-victimizing anyone, I am in the process of establishing a partnership with a licensed psychologist who will work with me to ensure that a thorough assessment is conducted on each subject prior to any photography taking place and by making use of the Professional Quality of Life Assessment, ProQOL.
You CAN make a difference, for 99 is not 100.
Click here to find out one of the many ways you can help fight sex trafficking.