ESTERO, Fla -- It's called modern day slavery. Every year thousands become victims of human trafficking, some right here in southwest Florida. Now students at Florida Gulf Coast University are raising awareness about this crime against humanity.
Jessica Bouchard and several friends have been working around the clock to set up this event. They tell WINK News they're trying to make people stop turning a blind eye to such a terrible issue, and their fight against human trafficking starts with some education.
It's a light-hearted evening with a serious message.
"Every minute two children are sexually trafficked here in the world," said FGCU senior Jessica Bouchard.
Bouchard and others like junior Amanda Truxillo are bringing the dark subject of human trafficking into the light. "Human trafficking is the second largest growing crime in the world and a 32 billion dollar industry annually," said Bouchard.
"Even evil this bad, 27 million people being enslaved, our main heart behind it is to to have people know and then act," said Truxillo.
From the band, to the tables full of information provided by local organizations, their goal is to attract their peers and spread a message of hope.
"Here, it's not really talked about so it's good to hear about whats really going on," said sophomore Kevin Richardson.
Joining them is the founder of Beauty from Ashes Ministries. Julie Shematz an FGCU graduate student experienced human trafficking first hand. "When I was finally able to get free of it, my heart went out to all the individuals that I had worked with across the nation, and I wanted to provided resources for them," she explained.
They hope their efforts here will have a lasting and life-changing impact. "Human trafficking awareness leads to prevention, intervention and restoration," said Shematz.
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Source: Wink News