Sometimes you need a face


Abigail Smith, 14, at summer camp in 2015.  (photo by: Tracy E. Smith/TU Student)

Let me introduce you to my 14-year-old daughter, Abigail.  We call her “Abs” for short.  It suits her.  Like most girls her age, she likes to hang out with her friends and family.  She loves horses and dogs and posting funny pictures on Instagram.  Getting up in time for school is not an art she has mastered quite yet.

In many ways, she’s just like your younger sister, cousin, friend, or perhaps even your daughter if you’re an older college student like me. 

Sadly, my daughter Abigail is in the age bracket that most girls are typically targeted and sexually exploited.  That’s a frightening thought.  

These are facts that most of us do not like to think about.  Even when we do hear horrific stories about child prostitution or trafficking, we tend to believe the lie that this only happens to troubled teens or runaways.  We convince ourselves that it could not happen to our child or our sister or our friend.  

But it does.  More than you know.  And it’s worth thinking about.

This reality hit home for “X-Files” actress Gillian Anderson, who recently starred in “Sold,” a film that seeks to highlight the issue of human trafficking.  In an interview with The Blaze, the American-British actress discloses the personal impact the film has had on her life.  The story is powerful enough that she believes it could end human trafficking.  

Although “Sold” focuses on the life of a young Nepalese girl,  Anderson recognizes that children everywhere in the world are victims of this horrific crime.  For her, perhaps it took playing a role in this poignant film to connect her to the reality of this problem.

While I do not agree that a movie alone can bring an end to trafficking, the film industry as well as other artistic expressions can play a critical role in helping to educate others.  As human beings, we each have different learning styles.  For some of us, simply reading a book on this issue could change us.  For others, a visual presentation like a documentary or film would have a greater impact.

For me, all it takes is looking at the face of my daughter, Abigail.


One thought on “Sometimes you need a face

  1. Very nice job connecting the personal and the larger issue. My only concern is that I would think long and hard before posting something online with a picture of my child and her name — for just the reasons you discuss in your project. 2 pts


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