Communication Students Raise Awareness of Human Trafficking

Senior communication students at William Woods University are continuing their quest to raise awareness of human trafficking and help prevent this large, undercover industry.

 


Tuesday, April 27, they will host a program titled, “End Traffic Now,” in the Library Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. The event, which is free and open to the community, is sponsored by the communications senior seminar class taught by Dr. Aimee Sapp, professor of communication arts.

 

Attendees will get an exclusive preview of the documentary, “Playground,” which was produced by George Clooney and Libby Spears. The shocking documentary, which has not been released to the public, examines the lives of young girls and how they are trafficked into the sex slave industry. The film shows interviews with victims, professionals and even traffickers themselves.

 

Along with the documentary, Kristy Childs, founder of Veronica’s Voice in Kansas City, Mo., will speak out about her personal experience with human sex trafficking, hoping to give the audience an insight into this dangerous world.

 

Carrie Tyler, victim services coordinator for the Central Missouri Stop Human Trafficking Coalition, will also attend the event, offering her point of view on the industry. Tyler and Childs will be available both during and after the event for questions.

 

“I think the event will be an eye-opening experience for everyone that attends,” Heather Vanderborg of Jefferson City, Mo., said. “The topic is not one that is discussed much in society today; however, it is one that exists and is growing.”

 

Throughout the semester, students have researched human trafficking and the impact that it has on the United States. Through extensive interviews, research, and discussions they decided their main goal was to describe the threat of human sex trafficking in attempt to create awareness of a national undercover industry.  

  

Earlier this month, students hosted a program titled, “Become Aware: End Traffic Now,” at the John C. Harris Community Center in Fulton.  

 

Erin O’Fallon, Montgomery City, Mo., explains, “The goal of our events is to create awareness. Awareness is one of the first steps towards prevention. The more society knows about the topic, the

more chance there is that they will be able to recognize and help current victims, or avoid becoming victims themselves.” 

 

Students also designed t-shirts, which will be available to purchase at the event for $17. All proceeds made will benefit the Central Missouri Stop Human Trafficking Coalition, a local organization dedicated to promoting awareness and helping victims of human sex trafficking, and Childs’ organization, Veronica’s Voice, an organization designed to connect and support American victims of human sex trafficking.

 

Due to the graphic nature of the topic, the film and discussion may not be suitable for all ages. While there is no enforced age limit at the event, the material is meant for mature audiences.

 

For more information, contact Vanderborg at havanderborg@owls.williamwoods.edu or Sapp at (573) 592-4391.