Slavery persists in homes across America.
There are few subjects more painful than slavery. The word itself conjures images of the most shameful and ugly parts of humanity and our past, histories most would prefer to distance themselves from. This may in part be why, in just two short days, The Atlantic’s article “My Family’s Slave,” by the journalist Alex Tizon about his family’s enslavement of a woman named Eudocia “Lola” Tomas Pulido, has caught the attention of and moved thousands of readers. The title itself is shocking in its admission of slavery tucked right into a modern American home.
How does this happen in America today? Some of this story’s readers have blamed immigrants, claiming that such a practice is un-American. Some have pointed the finger at Tizon’s Asian family, claiming that Filipino culture is at the root of this case of slavery.
The National Domestic Workers Alliance started a campaign with this question in mind. It’s called “Beyond Survival,” and its goal is to support women who have survived extreme abuse by giving them a chance to heal, connect with others like them, and, for those who choose to do so, share their experiences publicly so that others may be encouraged to escape enslavement. Through this campaign and an organization called Adhikaar, Karmo not only found the courage and support to escape, but she now organizes and assists others like her in New York City. Additionally, programs like these can help policy-makers learn how to best address the needs of survivors.