the illegal industry of sex slavery. Those trafficked are modern day slaves, mainly young women, who are forced to sell their bodies and prostitute themselves for the profit of their traffickers.With the epidemic of human trafficking growing, a group of Spring Arbor University (SAU) students decided to commit their time and efforts to fight against modern day slavery. Under the guidance of SAU associate professor of sociology, Jeremy Norwood, the group of students meets every Tuesday night at 9:30 p.m. on the third floor of the Poling Center.
Norwood and SAU student Andrew Van Valin worked to set up the showing of “Nefarious” on SAU’s campus on Sept. 6.
“Nefarious” was also shown at The Hub, a nonprofit organization sponsored by Westwinds Community Church in Jackson, Mich.
Norwood said he was, “disappointed with the turnout at both showings.”
The SAU showing had 110 viewers and the showing at The Hub had 55. Norwood said the low attendance was probably because the showing took place during the first week of classes for SAU students. “The timing was bad,” said Norwood.
Low turnout aside, the group is still looking to make strides this year.
“We ended last year optimistic and hopeful from last year’s Focus Series. We had 400-500 people come to the events, a great turnout,” said Norwood.
SAU junior Ivy Whitmore was involved with the group when it started last spring. Whitmore felt that “Nefarious” was an emotional film.
“I took four pages of notes and I am pretty sure everyone cried at some point during the film,” said Whitmore. “I was surprised at the connection between human trafficking and prostitution. If you want to stop human trafficking, you need to stop prostitution. I do feel like, as the movie said, ‘Human trafficking is an exploitation of vulnerability.’”
Currently the group is working on hosting a one day seminar next fall to continue the awareness and education. Looking toward the future, the group hopes to network with other colleges and share ideas.
For more information about Exodus Cry, visit www.exoduscry.com.