Lewis and Clark Community College’s Diversity Council held a talk on sex trafficking March 9 with Trude Jacobsen, from Northern Illinois University, in the Ahlemeyer Atrium.
Sex trafficking is a world epidemic that is being ignored and brushed under the rug as if it does not affect the entire world, Jacobson said.
Jacobsen spoke of tourists and travelers who seek out prostitutes and unknowingly contribute to the problem. She said many prostitutes are sick with sexually transmitted diseases and being forced to live in brothels because they are out of other options.
“I wanted students to be exposed to these truths about sex trafficking,” said Adrienne Reed, coordinator of Diversity and Inclusion. “I wanted to bust the myth that most victims are taken unwillingly and inform them that this is the only option and/or last resort for most of the young girls and boys.”
Many times, sex trafficking victims are more than likely willingly participants in an effort to take care of medical needs for themselves or family members, according to Jacobsen. They are made to feel that they owe their mothers their lives and are trained to believe that this is an honorable way of giving back to their mother, who is usually living in poverty.
A vast silence took over the auditorium after Jacobsen finished her talk, most likely because the narratives and facts she presented were so grim.
“Personally I felt helpless and sick to my stomach during the whole presentation, but these are harsh truths that need to be openly discussed,” Reed said. “It is my prayer that someone who was listening will take on the same crusade as our speaker to try and find ways to educate these men and women, offer them options and educate others so that even if we can’t stop it completely we can noticeably slow the progression of sex trafficking and perhaps donate to World Vision to adopt one of these girls or boys so that they won’t become sex slaves.”
For more information, contact Jacobsen at firstname.lastname@example.org.