Did you know that there are approximately 27 million people in slavery today and only 1-2% of these people will ever be rescued? Did you know that human-trafficking is one of the fastest growing criminal industries in the world and is estimated to generate $150 billion per year? If your answer is no, you’re certainly not alone! Despite the fact that there are more slaves than ever before in human history, few people even know that modern-day slavery exists! A few years ago, Melody Towns was one of those people.
“I was sitting there [in an A21 conference] with my daughter on my lap and I heard stories of other little girls, just like my daughter Marley, who had been stolen and enslaved in the sex industry. In that moment my life suddenly changed, I needed to do something.”
Compelled to do more, Melody shared these stories with her group of her friends and together they founded not-for-profit, Be Hers as a way to raise awareness and funds to fight sexual slavery. With the belief that ‘together we can be the change’ Be Hers empowers women to use their freedom to fight for those who have had theirs stolen. In 2010, Melody hosted the first Be Her Freedom event in Hobart, dedicating the event to the victims of human trafficking. In the years since, the event has grown in popularity and expanded nationally! 2017 saw Hobart’s biggest event ever with over 950 women under the same roof determined to fight for freedom.
After meeting Melody in 2013, Hannah and Rachel were shocked to learn the truth behind modern day slavery, and through their growing business, were determined to help.
“When Melody [Co-Founder of Be Hers] approached me and shared these statistics with me, my heart broke. To realise that in this day and age, there are 27 million people enslaved and so few people know about it, that was devastating. I couldn’t give money, but I knew I had to do something”, says Hannah Vasicek, Founder and Director of Francesca.
“We were already making jewellery, so we decided to release a collection that donated 100% of the proceeds to this cause. It was an instant hit! Every year we’ve raised more and more money and in 2017, we made $25,000 in one night!”
With the success of their first charity collection, Francesca continued to release annual collections for Be Hers. As the years went on the sisters became more and more invested in the cause, lending their skills in web design, mailouts, photography and more to the growing not-for-profit and in 2017, Hannah was named Marketing & Business Director of Be Hers!
Co-Founder of Be Hers, Melody Towns, says the partnership with Francesca has been invaluable.
"We have been absolutely thrilled to collaborate with the beautiful Francesca Collections for the last few years. Every year they not only design a stunning new jewellery range and donate 100% proceeds to this cause, but they are also there as a team, behind the scenes, carrying so much of the load...the team at Francesca have big hearts and no job is ever too hard. We are so blessed to partner with them and together we are able to do so much more to fight for freedom!”