In recent years, society has practically mandated celebrities to advocate for a cause. Although a celebrity has noble intentions to raise awareness for an important issue such as poverty or AIDS, celebrities can often fool themselves and their cause by not properly understanding the depth of the problem. Bringing attention to an issue requires not just a pretty face; it demands knowledge of the issue that, when partnered with passion, can make a lasting impression.
In the past few years, Actress Emma Thompson has been instrumental in raising awareness on sex trafficking. Since learning that women who were working in a massage parlor close to her house were victims of trafficking, she has committed herself to sex trafficking awareness and prevention.
Like the general public, celebrities have steered clear from addressing domestic trafficking because we don’t want to think that an international issue could also occur within our own borders. However Emma Thompson makes it clear that sex trafficking is not country specific – it occurs in every town, every city, every country. As we state repeatedly at SHI, sex trafficking is indiscriminate of race, gender, age and nationality. Anyone can be a victim and it can occur ANYWHERE.
Emma Thompson collaborated with a survivor of sex trafficking to create a touching art exhibit which illustrates the stages of a trafficked woman’s experience through seven cargo containers. The exhibit, which was first displayed in London’s Trafalgar Square, is now on display in New York City until November 15. Called “Journey”, the exhibit hopes to illustrate the emotional journey of a trafficked victim.
It’s “a very personal journey for me as well,” Thompson says. “It’s very important for me to try to explain this as best as I can to people.” Thanks to Ms. Thompson, the realities faced by trafficked victims are starting to resonate with the general public.