The Catholics Campus Center student organization is bringing a guest speaker to give a presentation on human trafficking. Originally the date was set for this Monday, Feb 25, but due to the impending storm, the center has decided to postpone the event. They have rescheduled the speaker for 7 p.m. Monday March 4 in Henderson 100.
The event will include Kristy Childs who will talk about sex trafficking across the country and her own experiences. According to an introduction by Anna Frantz, secretary of the Catholic Campus Center, Childs was trafficked for 20 years and had struggled very hard to go back to the life she once had. After she finally recovered, Childs stayed concerned about women and girls who have been caught in commercial sexual exploitation, who have no voices. Childs founded the organization Veronica’s Voice in 2000. The organization is named in remembrance of Veronica April Neverdusky. Veronica was the mother of three young children who was 21 years old when she was found murdered in Penn Valley Park and her case remained unsolved until March 2007. VV provides education and opportunities for the women to have an easier, smoother transition back to a normal life. It is the only recovery program located in Kansas City dedicated solely to victims of prostitution and commercial sexual exploitation.
Before the formal presentation, the Catholic Campus Center will set tables in Memorial Union Monday, Feb. 18. The display will run through 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. and will last three days. A brief information board will be displayed and a donation jar will be set up. The event is free, but the Catholic Campus Center will be taking donations that will benefit VV.
The Catholic Center has other events through the year and they have them listed on their website, wucatholic.com.
“We have scheduled a fundraiser meal of Buffalo Wild Wings on March 6 in Catholic Campus Center,” said Jay Wessel, student president. “Ten percent from the meal will go to VV. We will continue planning different fundraisers like that.”
He added that this presentation is one of this year’s service projects offered by the student organization. Other services include Lenten, Ash Wednesday, and Easter.
As the statistics on VV’s official website show, there are approximately one million prostituted women in North America, or one percent of women in North America are involved in prostitution. This fact is, in Wessel’s words, “something that happens in our community, even our campus”.
“I think [human trafficking] is terrible,” said Patti K. Lyon, director of the Catholoic Campus Center. “One of the things that concerns me is that I think many times women victims in sex trade, prostitutes, are blamed for that. These young people get onto the street and they have no way of supporting themselves. And this [being coerced to get involved in sex trade] is how they have been able to survive. I think it’s horrible to what’s happening to these women and to these children. And it’s happening a lot more than we think. That’s what we need to be aware of.”
Right now VV is focusing on social working. Therefore, there is a great need of volunteer students to sort out foods and to sort out donation and to give time to the organization. If students are interested in volunteering, please e-mail [email protected] to be contacted by their volunteer coordinator. VV is hoping to get someone to pledge a monthly gift to pay for the rent and/or utilities at the Veronica’s Voice SAFE Center. Please call Kiersten Adkins at 816.483.7101 for more details or visit their official website at veronicasvoice.org/.