Sunday, October 6, 2019

What You Should Know About Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is essentially the trading and coercion of human beings in order to exploit them, often for sex or labor. Common names for types of human trafficking include modern slavery, sex trafficking or child trafficking. However it occurs, trafficking is a severe human rights violation. It’s often misunderstood, so here are some things you should know.
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  • Some are More Vulnerable Than Others - Human trafficking can happen to anyone, but groups most vulnerable include women; children, especially those with unstable home environments; the poor or homeless; those with a disability or mental disorder; victims of abuse and anyone who is otherwise part of a demographic that is vulnerable or often left behind in society. These people may be more trusting or more likely to take their chance with a trafficker who offers them protection. Traffickers target them because they know they are easier to manipulate.
  • The Effects are Debilitating - For victims, the dangers of human trafficking are grave. A hallmark of trafficking is the use or threat of violence and abuse, either physically or mentally. Physically, this could mean the denial of food, water or hygienic necessities or physical torture and beatings, leaving victims malnourished or with injuries that require treatment. Mentally, the trauma of the experience can leave victims with lasting disorders like anxiety, depression, and PTSD that likewise require treatment.
  • It Happens Everywhere - One of the biggest misconceptions about human trafficking is that it only happens in other countries; this is false. Countries with unstable governments are more susceptible, but that doesn’t mean it only happens there. Any place that has inequality and vulnerable communities like those mentioned above can, unfortunately, find itself touched by the disease of human trafficking. Most people don’t hear about it because traffickers work hard to keep their victims hidden and obedient.

As the reality of human trafficking continues to be brought to light, it’s best to be informed. If you ever suspect human trafficking, you should contact your local authorities or the National Human Trafficking Resource Center.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

How to Wash a Cat

One of my friends just posted this on Facebook, and it made me laugh so hard. Enjoy:

You laughed, didn't you? The cat isn't too impressed, though.


Popular Coming of Age Celebrations for Girls

In various cultures, people observe the transition from childhood to womanhood with a coming of age celebration. These parties may be time-honored traditions or associated with religion. They can be relatively uncomplicated or elaborate and over-the-top. Here are some of the popular ones and their associated customs.
  • Sweet Sixteen - A sweet sixteen is held in honor of a teenage girl turning sixteen. Prevalent in the Americas, this celebration can be as simple as a gathering at home with family, or as sophisticated as a gala including live music, party décor, makeup and hair, glamorous outfits and catered food. A sweet sixteen is often themed and may include group activities such as dancing and karaoke. Such a party should reflect the likes and interests of the honoree.
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  • Bat Mitzvahs - A bat mitzvah is a coming of age ritual associated with Judaism. Although the term refers to the ritual itself, it originally referred to the person, meaning “daughter of commandment.” A girl becomes a bat mitzvah when she turns twelve or thirteen, depending on the specific Jewish tradition. She is now an adult and fully responsible for her actions. Although festivities typically include a meal, a speech by the honoree and a blessing from a rabbi, other events may be included. Consult a bat mitzvah planner to put together a memorable celebration.
  • Quinceañera - Quinceañera This celebration that honors a girl turning fifteen originated in Latin America. Originally referring to the guest of honor, the term “quinceañera” is now used for the teenager and the party. This event is a ball where the birthday girl wears an elegant dress and dances with her father and other family members and friends. Dinner is usually served and rituals are conducted that are specific to the country of origin.

Coming of age celebrations mark the beginning of adulthood. Many traditions exist today with various cultural and/or religious roots. Whether you’re an invited guest or the event sponsor, familiarize yourself with expectations and find ways to merge conventions with the birthday girl’s wishes for a truly unforgettable occasion.