It begain in 2009, although this is the first year I've heard of it. The idea is that women commit to wearing a dress each day (not necessarily a different dress each day). The goal is to raise awareness of women captivated in the sex trade, and raise money for their rescue efforts and rehabilitation through agencies like International Justice Mission.
Here are some of the statistics that have been shared with me though Dressember (sources: IJM, REST, Walk Free Foundation) in the last month or so, leading up to Dressember.
- $200,000 at IJM can do one of the following: pay 10 attorney salaries, cover trial fees for 888 victims, or provide 10,000 hours of trauma therapy
- an IJM rescue mission costs about $4500
- according to the Walk Free Foundation, there was a 23% increase in modern day slavery this year around the world
- 65-90% of women sold for sex are victims of incest, 80% are victims of rape, 70-90% have a trafficker selling her as a commodity and keeping all or most of the money, 72% are or have been homeless, 75% have considered suicide, 68% suffer from PTSD (2x higher than a soldier in a war zone). On average, a woman who is sold for sex will die within 7 years after entering into prostitution. (Source here.)
So, while it is fun to wear a dress, the dress is not the answer. As Dressember puts it, #itsbiggerthanadress. The idea is that with thousands of women in multiple countries making a point of wearing a dress every day for 31 days and posting pictures, we collectively raise awareness of the needs of these enslaved women, raising money to help free them.
This isn't raising money for me in any way. All money goes to the efforts at the International Justice Mission. If you would like to donate under my profile, this is the link! Please feel free to share my link and this blog.