Operation Hope advocates for victims of sex trafficking

A model showcases the fashion designed by Evelyn Rossol and Anna Honerlaw. International Justice Mission (IJM) presented “Operation Hope: Freedom is Possible” a fashion advocating for those still enslaved through sex trafficking and other varieties of slavery March 9, 2018.

Helen Yablonski

Most fashion shows present audiences with high couture, but fashion design majors Evelyn Rossol and Anna Honerlaw sent chains down the runway Friday night.

International Justice Mission (IJM) presented “Operation Hope: Freedom is Possible” to a ballroom filled with friends, family and supporters of the organization.

The show depicted the two realities victims of sex trafficking face: One is a world where they must face their situation alone, and the other is a world in which groups like IJM are present.

The theatrical fashion show opened with a scene depicting life for victims of human trafficking.

“Our girl is out there, along with millions just like her,” Honerlaw said.

The event continued by portraying the ideas and hardships of sex trafficking through fashion.

The Red Light District in Amsterdam was the inspiration for the designs in the show. Black and navy blue fabrics were torn to show off red material underneath the models’ dresses.

Chains were adorning their ankles and wrists, some even restricting their movement.

The items are representations of the struggles victims must deal with in their day-to-day lives.

The show concluded with two juxtaposed scenarios. In the first instance, the victim decided to take her own life. In the second, the victim rescued by IJM conquered her freedom. Her dark matted dress transformed into a yellow ball gown as she walked the runway freed.

Rossol and Honerlaw thanked the audience, receiving applause from the ballroom and leading in a final prayer to end the show.

“We ask your hand to be over all those enslaved and that you will be using IJM and other organizations like them to rescue people from this horrible reality,” Rossol said. “We ask for justice to prevail on this Earth, and that one day we will know a world with no more slavery.”

Helen Yablonski is a religion reporter. Contact her at [email protected]