Former sex slave rescheduled to speak at William Woods

A Jefferson City woman will tell her own story of being a
victim of human trafficking when she speaks at William Woods University at 6
p.m. Monday, March 25.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held
in WWU’s Library Auditorium. Originally scheduled for February, the talk was
rescheduled due to the snow storm.
 
While attending a Missouri university, Sula Skiles was
approached by a man who offered her a modeling job overseas. Excited by the
opportunity, she accepted. But she quickly realized that modeling was not what
she signed up for.
 
Instead, she was a Christmas present for the sexual pleasure
of a billionaire and his girlfriend. She was a modern day slave—and a sex slave
at that.
 
Skiles, who lives in Jefferson City, will come to William
Woods University to tell her story
During her presentation, she will tell the story of how she
found herself in the center of a sex trafficking ring and how she fought her
way out.
 
The WWU communications senior seminar class is hosting the
event as part of their senior project.
 
“We are all thrilled to have Sula come speak at William
Woods,” said Murphy McSemek, a communications and equestrian science major
from Dayton, Ohio. “She’s an incredible woman, a beautiful speaker and she
is sharing a message that is important for the students and community to hear.
I think the students will be able to really relate to her, allowing her message
to really sink in.”
 
The event will be co-hosted by Nanette Ward of the Stop Human
Trafficking Coalition of Columbia, Mo. Ward will introduce Skiles and set up a
booth offering free informational materials and t-shirts that can be purchased.
 
“This will easily be one of the most interesting events
students will go to,” said Alexis Renae, a communications major from
Sullivan, Mo.
 
“It is important for us to remember that human
trafficking isn’t just something you see in ‘Taken’ (a 2008 action thriller
film),” Renae said. “It can happen to an ordinary Missouri college student.
People need to know what signs to look out for and how real this issue is.
That’s why we decided to bring Sula to William Woods—because she has lived
it.”