Every year Kent State University puts on a week of programs called Sex Week. This week is devoted to programs regarding safe sex, sexual assault and, this year, human trafficking. This aspect of the week was put on by an organization on campus called Catholic Relief Services, whose campaign this year is “I am Human Trafficking.” With this campaign they are trying to focus on educating people on the issue and raising awareness to help be a solution to the problem.
Catholic Relief Services arranged for Sister Cecilia Liberatore from Renee Jones Empowerment Center in Cleveland to come in and talk about human trafficking and how she deals with victims first hand. She started out talking about how human trafficking is not something people want to talk a lot about because they make the assumption that is not happening anywhere close to them, but in reality it could be happening as close as on campus.
She started out by defining human trafficking as recruiting, transferring, keeping or receiving a person and that the person doing the trafficking gets some sort of benefit. She made the comment saying many women do not realize they had been trafficked when they were younger until older adulthood. With that being said it is important to realize that women being trafficked usually have no control over their own lives and become subject to sexual exploitation or forced labor and sometimes go without basic necessities. That’s why outreach centers like the Renee Jones Empowerment Center will provide these women with kits containing these necessities, along with letter of inspiration and information on how to get help.
So what can be done to help those who are being subjected to human trafficking? One of the best ways we can help as young college students is help bring awareness to the topic and know how to identify possible signs, such as physical abuse, depression, fear and even not wanting to speak. If you feel someone is being subjected to human trafficking it is important to get the individual help, and that’s why places like Renee Jones Empowerment Center exist and have women like Sister Cecilia to help because getting women out of these situation and helping them recover is extremely important!