We think of slavery as a practice of the past, an image from Roman colonies or 18th-century American plantations, but the practice of enslaving human beings as property still exists.
There are 29.8 million people living as slaves right now, according to a comprehensive new report issued by the Australia-based Walk Free Foundation.
This is not some softened, by-modern-standards definition of slavery.
These 30 million people are living as forced laborers, forced prostitutes, child soldiers, child brides in forced marriages and, in all ways that matter, as pieces of property, chattel in the servitude of absolute ownership.
These can be helpful additions to in-person support groups and can be especially helpful if there are no groups in your area.
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Walk Free investigated 162 countries and found slaves in every single one.
But the practice is far worse in some countries than others.
The country where you are most likely to be enslaved is Mauritania.
Although this vast West African nation has tried three times to outlaw slavery within its borders, it remains so common that it is nearly normal.
The report estimates that four percent of Mauritania is enslaved – one out of every 25 people.
(The aid group SOS Slavery, using a broader definition of slavery, estimated several years ago that as many as 20 percent of Mauritanians might be enslaved.) The map at the top of this page shows almost every country in the world colored according to the share of its population that is enslaved.
Some support groups are peer-led, while others may be led by a mental health professional.
Support groups are offered as a space where individuals can come together to share their stories, experiences, and lives in a way that helps reduce isolation and loneliness.