The toll of the pandemic for SWEAT Network has been not only financial but also deeply personal.
Traffickers target individuals plagued with economic uncertainty and unstable living conditions, which makes those at-risk even more vulnerable to trafficking now. Stay-at-home orders do not stop human trafficking – in fact, social distancing makes it easier for traffickers to go undetected and for victims unlikely to escape. Anti-trafficking organizations are struggling; some have even slowed programming and outreach, and halted operations completely.
I want to stress, despite the doubt brought by 2020, it is also a reminder of how much we have to be grateful. Our formation as a nonprofit, our growth, as well as the help of loyal volunteers and supporters all happened in this calendar year. I have hope for the future because of what we've built this year.
Although the path is more difficult, we will not waiver from our mission, and for that, I am thankful.