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It was the untold stories that struck the interest of students.

Forum raises awareness about sex trafficking

It was the untold stories that struck the interest of students. Quintella Bohannon and Shalita Dickson brought those stories to VSU.

Bohannon and Dickson, both members of Delta Sigma Theta, presented a forum on female genital mutilation (FGM) and sex trafficking Wednesday in the Student Union.

The purpose of the forum was to bring acknowledgement and awareness of the international issues of FGM and sex trafficking being brought to the United States, and surprisingly enough the audience soon learned that those residencies were in fact some familiar places.

The disposition of the forum fell heavy when the speakers presented the location of the 13th largest sex trafficking place in the world—Atlanta, Ga. About 42 percent of the sex trafficking events happen in North Metro Atlanta with young children that are around the average age of 12-14.

Another place familiar to all the students was Valdosta, Ga.

“It takes place in some of the country areas in Valdosta,” Jillian Thomas, 20, a junior nursing major said. “I’ve heard about the massage parlors and how they are really brothels.”

Bohannon, an accounting major, and Dickson, an exercise physiology major, expressed the importance of embracing other women and letting not only women know, but men as well that people are all different. No matter the culture they want others to know when you judge someone you are unaware of anything they may be going through, whether it is extreme or not.

The speakers shared some graphic clips and scenes to support both aspects of the presentation to help the audience truly empathize with their point of views.

Bohannon and Dickson both left an impression on not only the audience, but the thought of close loved ones.

“My sister is 11 so it really impacted me because the ages for the statistics were 12-14,” Dezsarae Gill, a junior said. “I couldn’t imagine seeing her change in a snap of a finger from being the chipper excited young girl that she is.”

The speakers also struck a particular emotion on the future of the students present, and some think it was because they could relate to the speakers passion on their subjects.

“They were both very passionate about the message,” Bianca White, 20, a junior mass communications major said. “I think they did touch more people because they were our age.”

If you are or know anyone with similar situations, Bohannon and Dickson provided the following contact information for those seeking guidance or help:

To contact the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) call 1-888-373-7888.

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