Stereotypes in society
We all use stereotypes to define the world around us. Stereotypes may be used to talk about different groups, like gender or ethnicity. However, since stereotypes are a generalization, they can incorrectly portray that group. For example, the sweeping statement that all feminists are bra burners and hate men ignores the realistic array of individuality that makes up our world.
There are even certain untrue stereotypes about sexual assault and domestic violence. Someone might say only women can be sexually assaulted when in fact 1 in 6 men under the age of 18 also face this abuse. Also, someone might think that since an individual chooses to stay in an abusive relationship, they deserve the abuse. This statement incorrectly addresses the issue of intimate partner violence. There are an infinite number of reasons why an individual may choose to remain in an abusive relationship; however, no one ever deserves to be abused.
Fighting negative stereotypes begins at home. Even though society has made giant strides towards eliminating stereotypes, they still survive. Parents can first act as positive role models by being mindful of their words and actions around their children. Address the issue if the child brings it up. Ask the child why they think that, and listen to their answer. Then address how that statement does not correctly reflect that person or group of people. It’ll be a learning experience for both parent and child. By teaching the younger generations the importance of acceptance and diversity, we can tear down negativity and prejudice.
Human Trafficking A Global Epidemic
Human trafficking is a global epidemic and a modern form of slavery. Each year, 2 to 4 million individuals are trafficked worldwide and exploited for labor or sexual purposes. While anyone can be a victim of human trafficking, certain populations are at a higher risk: undocumented immigrants; runaway and homeless youth; victims of trauma and abuse; refugees and individuals fleeing conflict; and oppressed, marginalized, and/or impoverished groups and individuals.
There are many things that the average citizen can do to fight human trafficking. First, know the possible indicators of human trafficking. Is the individual unable to go or leave her/his place of work or residence as she/he wishes? Does she/he work long or unusual hours? A comprehensive list of red flags can be found online through the Polaris Project website.
If you suspect someone might be a victim or human trafficking, contact the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline at 888-3737-888. This is a 24/7 crisis line that can connect victims to both the local law enforcement agencies and service providers. Since most victims of human trafficking do not identify as victims or do not know that help is available, it is crucial to spread public awareness around this issue. By talking to family, friends, and colleagues about human trafficking, important steps can be taken to fight this global epidemic.
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