Last week after Laura and I recorded the Feminism 101 episode of our podcast, she sent me a link to an article about a new initiative the Canadian Women’s Foundation has started regarding sex trafficking in Canada. They’re calling for people to donate their voices in order to tell the stories of victims who are unable to speak for themselves because they are ashamed or because they fear violence against themselves or their families. The campaign asks for other people to donate their own voices in order to tell these stories out loud.
The foundation has made three professionally-done ad spots that are extremely moving, to say the least. You can watch all three (about 30 seconds each) here. Their website has a recording function for you to quickly and easily donate your own voice anonymously, shot in black and white. They have a selection of stories on their website that you can choose from to record.
I think this campaign is extremely smart and very powerful. The cause itself is so important, because this issue is so horrifying. It’s true that these girls are unable to tell their own stories or advocate for themselves, because they’re in situations we can’t imagine (or don’t want to). I think it’s so wonderful (and clever) that the Canadian Women’s Foundation has found a way to crowdsource in order to spread awareness.
I was moved to donate my own voice, which you can see in the clip above. I memorized the short paragraph because I felt it would be respectful to spend a little time internalizing the story. I also recorded it a few times to make sure I was delivering the words in the most respectful way I could.
It’s almost unfathomable, Emma’s story (along with all the others on the website), and it’s hard to really engage with because it’s so upsetting. But of course, as upsetting as it was for me, there’s a little girl out there living that horrible reality and so I think we all owe her and others like her our attention, support and respect. I feel so very lucky that the story I read in the video is not my own, but I know that these girls are just as innocent and undeserving as I am.
I also made a donation to the foundation to help them to continue with their important work. If you don’t feel comfortable recording a video but are inspired to contribute, you can donate here.
PS. This year I’ve been making a conscious effort to donate my time and money to charity at least once per month. If you’re curious to learn more about the organizations I’ve chosen to support, you can find information about them here.