WWU Students Promote Awareness of Human Trafficking

Raising awareness of human trafficking and helping prevent this large, undercover industry is the goal some William Woods University students hope to achieve during their final semester.


Thursday, April 15, senior communications students will host a program titled, “Become Aware: End Traffic Now,” at the John C. Harris Community Center in Fulton. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.


The event is sponsored by the communications senior seminar class taught by Dr. Aimee Sapp, professor of communication arts.


Throughout the semester, students have researched human trafficking and the impact that it has on the United States. Class members will discuss their findings and present the information they have uncovered through interviews with victims, specialists and organizations fighting the crime.


Each attendee will obtain a victim’s identity, and will have the opportunity to read the story of their victim’s life and explore the daily struggles their victim endured. Participants will tour an exhibit, which will showcase facts, statistics and illustrations that describe, define and explain what human trafficking is and why it is important for society to be aware of the crime. 


“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.”


 “The goal of our event is to create awareness,” Erin O’Fallon of Montgomery City, Mo., said. “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.” 


Due to the graphic nature of the topic, a supervised bounce house and game section will be provided in a separate room for children attending the event. While there is no enforced age limit at the event, the material is meant for mature audiences.


Students also designed t-shirts, which will be available to purchase 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.


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