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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Wisconsin chapter.

Would you be able to recognize the crime?

I was recently sent a TikTok about some of the sex trafficking violence that is going on in and around the UW-Madison campus. At the Hilldale Mall Target, a fellow classmate was being followed by a group of men. She was doing some grocery shopping, and younger boys were following her while two grown men were on the phone. This awareness is important, but the video was taken down a day later; I was not really sure why. 

It happens every day, and awareness is the first and most important step. Education is so important, and although a movie does not always portray realities, I was able to find one based on a true story about human trafficking. 

“Trafficked” was directed by Will Wallace and I think it is a very eye-opening movie that I would highly recommend watching. This movie is unfortunately based on a true story and really makes the viewers feel as though they were part of the story.

It starts out at an all-girl foster home. There are a bunch of girls and two adults sitting around a table ready to celebrate a birthday. The girl is turning 18 and therefore has to start living on her own, leaving her little sister behind in the foster home. She was told by one of the women working there that she will take her to Texas to live with a friend of hers. Along the way, the woman driving her there actually willingly gives her to creepy men for money. They take her to a brothel in Texas, and you follow the story of her and young women from Nigeria and India as they try to escape. The international sex trade home is very gruesome and many of the scenes were hard to watch.

The movie ends with the hard truth about sex trafficking that still goes on today, with jaw-dropping statistics and the reality of the violence. This movie is very educational. Not many people are aware of how serious the problem of sex trafficking has been and still is. Sharing the stories of others and making sure people are aware of the problem can only help. As I was reading the reviews online, I saw that many people criticize some of the acting. Honestly, I never thought about the acting while watching the movie, as I was literally sucked into the story with tears running down my face trying to grasp how these girls were feeling. Also, imagine trying to act in a movie about getting raped against your own will.

The issue of child and adolescent sex trafficking is getting worse both nationally and in Wisconsin. In the majority, if not all, of Wisconsin’s counties, cases of sex trafficking involving minors have been discovered, looked into and prosecuted. It affects both urban and rural areas. It happens in the places you most feel safe, where you would least expect it.

Sarah Sobecki

Wisconsin '23

Sarah is currently a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison studying Psychology, Global Health, and Disability Rights and Services. This is her first time writing for Her Campus, but while not writing she enjoys listening to music, thrifting, reading, and going to Badger games!