Katee Pederson
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Updates, personal work, and behind the scenes by photographer Katee Pederson.

Dressember

 That's me hiking in a dress last December.

That's me hiking in a dress last December.

Last year I heard about Dressember through my friends at Grace Belle and decided to join the campaign to raise awareness for human trafficking by wearing a dress (or skirt) every day in December.   

Why? Because human trafficking exists right here in my own city and too many people don't realize it.  Women and girls are being forced into sex slavery in the neighbourhoods where I work, shop, eat, visit, and volunteer and that's not okay with me.  

There are organizations like this one out there who work to rescue victims from modern day slavery and support them as they transition out of the horrific world they've lived in.  But in order for these organizations to do this they need funding. And in order for them to receive funds people need to know that this problem exists.

Last year I was asked, "but what does wearing a dress have to do with it?  Could you be anymore stereotypical?" To be honest, dresses have nothing to do with human trafficking.  Just like moustaches have nothing to do with prostate cancer. But get a whole bunch of men not shaving in November and our society knows a lot more about the risk of prostate cancer.

Wearing a dress to casual events often gets noticed.  People say something like "cute dress", "you look nice", or "why are you so dressed up?" and to that I get to respond with "Thanks! I'm actually doing something called Dressember, have you heard of it?" and then I get to start a conversation about the reality of human trafficking in Canada.  And the more people know about a problem, the more people can help fix it.

So consider joining me in dressing things up a little this December to raise awareness about sex slavery where you live. Be brave and start the conversations to help give a voice to those who have had theirs taken away.