Dignity (n) : the state or quality of being worthy of honor or respect
We are all born with dignity. I believe dignity comes from being created by the God of the universe who made the land and sea, put the earth in motion, and placed the sun in the sky. He put those things together with care, and he does the same for each and every one of us.
Whether you believe in God or not, hopefully you can agree that human beings are worthy of respect and honor. All humans are worthy of dignity.
Photo by Michel Catalisano on Unsplash
Sex trafficking as defined by The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA), as amended (22 U.S.C. § 7102) (1):
Sex trafficking: the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, obtaining, patronizing, or soliciting of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act, in which the commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age
Sexual slavery and trafficking takes away a person's dignity. It treats a person more like a thing than a person. People are not things. A 2014 Polaris study has 6,000 cases recorded of sex trafficking in the United States, a number which only includes U.S. citizens. That's a lot of people-as-things (2).
I chose the name Clothed in Dignity for the year-long fundraiser to support Peoria Home because Peoria Home returns women their dignity. The angle of my fundraiser is that I will be clothing myself in dresses every day, as an act of supporting Peoria which re-clothes women affected by sex trafficking and prostitution. Peoria Home recovers and protects, physically and emotionally. Peoria Home provides space for women to heal.
My deep hope is that Clothed in Dignity will restore what has been lost. I hope it will help people see their own dignity and the need of so many others. I hope it starts a ripple of hope that some day our world would not include people being bought and sold for sex.
A person does not need to earn dignity. A person does not need to prove their worthiness.