Mother’s Day is a time to celebrate and honor the women in our lives – whether mother, aunt, grandmother, or older friend – who have served to shepherd us through the ups and downs as a mentor, guide, and loving shoulder to cry on. What better way to show your appreciation on Mother’s Day than by paying it forward and helping to lift up other women and mothers around the world?

A Note From The Editor: In Darling Issue No. 10 we announced our partnership with International Justice Mission (IJM), specifically partnering with their work to eradicate sex trafficking in the Dominican Republic. We’re excited to introduce the sixth in a series of update posts, taking you along and behind-the-scenes for a deeper look at how exactly that is being accomplished. Today we’re reviewing the past year of support with IJM and what they hope to see for the year ahead.

The work of justice would not be possible without people who believe in its worth. At IJM, we’re so grateful for our partnership with Darling Magazine, and for the Darling readers who have been following our updates and walking with us as we collectively seek to bring an end to modern day slavery and human trafficking. Darling’s support of the IJM office in the Dominican Republic—a country where 1 in 10 victims of commercial sexual exploitation are children—has meant freedom and a new life for so many.

Note From The Editor: In Darling Issue No. 10 we announced a new partnership with International Justice Mission (IJM), specifically partnering with their work to eradicate sex trafficking in the Dominican Republic. We’re excited to introduce the fifth in a series of update posts, taking you along and behind-the-scenes for a deeper look at how exactly that is being accomplished. Today we’re hearing from Jan Haugen, wife of IJM founder Gary Haugen, after a recent trip to the DR.

I recently had the absolute joy of visiting the Dominican Republic and seeing first hand IJM’s work in that beautiful country. Even though I’ve traveled many places, it’s always a bit of a shock to experience a new country: The humid heat – nearly liquid air, the amazing beauty of a city built on a coastline, the juxtaposition of crazy extravagance and extreme poverty – a fancy hotel with lots of Louis Vuitton and a neighborhood of dilapidated buildings with dogs and teenage boys sitting on rooftops whiling away the time, and the amazingly blocked up and stopped daily rush hour traffic jams that would give NYC or Austin a run for their money.

But what I will take away from my visit was so much deeper than my first sensory impressions of the DR:

When the Darling team first watched this film, it stopped us in our tracks. Though we’ve been long aware of fast-fashion’s negative environmental, cultural, and economical implications, The True Cost educates and pinpoints the problem in such a way that we can’t not give a second-thought as to what we purchase.

It’s a film that will make you question the difference between a need and a want, possessions and materialism, and what’s truly behind a desire to consume.

We had the great pleasure of asking the film’s director, Andrew Morgan, a few questions about his documentary and we encourage you to read his thoughts (then watch, ask, and act) below:

A Note From The Editor: In Darling Issue No. 10 we announced a new partnership with International Justice Mission (IJM), specifically partnering with their work to eradicate sex trafficking in the Dominican Republic. We’re excited to introduce the third in a series of update posts, taking you along and behind-the-scenes for a deeper look at how exactly that is being accomplished. 

IJM’s team has come alongside local Dominican authorities since late 2013 to rescue victims, bring criminals to justice, restore sex trafficking survivors, and strengthen the justice system so it can protect its most vulnerable children. By the end of May, we have helped rescue 20 victims and restrain eight traffickers and pimps in 2015.

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A Note From The Editor: In Darling Issue No. 10 we announced a new partnership with International Justice Mission (IJM), specifically partnering with their work to eradicate sex trafficking in the Dominican Republic. We’re excited to introduce the second in a series of update posts, taking you along and behind-the-scenes for a deeper look at how exactly that is being accomplished. 

From IJM: Clarisa* was rescued from sexual exploitation in one of our first-ever cases in the Dominican Republic. We first met her in October 2014, and she shared with our team how she had been assaulted by a man who then trafficked her to another man. Both suspects threatened to hurt her if she ever dared to tell anyone.

Like many of the girls we’ve seen here, Clarisa is sweet and friendly, with big dreams but few opportunities to follow them. One of nine siblings raised in a poor and very dangerous neighborhood in Santo Domingo, the capital city, Clarisa is even more vulnerable to abuse than most. Though she is 14, she experiences the world much like a 6-year-old due to a developmental disability.

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A Note From The Editor: In Darling Issue No. 10 we announced a new partnership with International Justice Mission (IJM), specifically partnering with their work to eradicate sex trafficking in the Dominican Republic. We’re excited to introduce the first in a series of update posts, taking you along and behind-the-scenes for a deeper look at how exactly that is being accomplished. 

A quick glance at today’s headlines shows a world plagued by bad news. The good stories — the tales of hope and renewal — rarely make the front page. But the front page only gives a sliver of insight into the realities of the injustice in our world today, and things aren’t always as they seem. There is beauty in broken moments, to be sure, but likewise also brokenness in the most beautiful of places.

The Dominican Republic shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti. The Caribbean vacation destination is dotted with pristine white beaches, lavish resorts and a vibrant culture. It is also home to a rampant sex tourism industry. A recent study by International Justice Mission (IJM) found from the total of women and girls observed in prostitution and other situations of sexual exploitation, the prevalence of girls and children being sexually exploited to be 10%.

Where there is injustice, however, there is also hope. Hope for rescue and restoration. Hope for the return of dignity. Hope for a future not plagued by fear. How is IJM bringing such a hope?

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A global leader in humanitarian assistance, the International Rescue Committee works in 40 countries offering help and hope to refugees and others impacted by violent conflict and disaster. During crises, IRC teams provide health care, shelter, clean water, sanitation, learning programs for children and special

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