How do you reach someone trapped in a trafficking situation?
Although trafficked people may have some opportunities for social interaction, they are oftenunaware of their rights and terrified of retributionfrom their traffickers. Many also have limited English proficiency, adding another layer of difficulty to reaching them.
“Traffickers target people from our society’s most marginalized groups, then further isolate them with threats and violence,” said Mosaic’s Deputy Director, Bill Bernstein.
Mosaic distributes multilingual flyers and educates community leaders on trafficking, and has recently taken a more creative approach to reach trafficking victims.
To face this challenge, Mosaic teamed up with local artist Jacob Haynes to develop a series of wordless comic strips depicting human trafficking.
Developed to run in local foreign-language newspapers, each piece tells the story of a person who chases promises of a better life, but gets trapped in a situation of forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation. The stories were inspired by the experiences of trafficked men and women who Mosaic has served.
“We wanted to use a medium that would make the information accessible to as many people as possible, including speakers of other languages and individuals with low literacy levels,” Bernstein said. “The comic strips do that. They’re very informative without being intimidating.”
In addition to appearing within local papers, the comics will be on display for one-day art showsaround the Metroplex. Mosaic staff hopes they will start a dialogue about modern-day slavery, and ultimately empower people to speak out against the exploitation of vulnerable individuals in their communities.
The first show will be at 10:00am on July 4th at Thanksgiving Square in downtown Dallas.
Information on upcoming shows will be announced at www.facebook.com/mosaicfamilyservices.