Newton students taking a stance against sex trafficking

NEWTON – Students at Newton Senior High School are raising awareness for human trafficking.

It’s part of “Teens Against Human Trafficking,” a non-profit whose mission is to raise awareness through the voice of young people. Child pornography is the fastest growing crime in the United States with a 2500% increase in the last ten years.2.8 million children run away each year. In just two days 1/3 of runaways will be lured into prostitution and porn. These students want people to know what the statistics look like to prevent kids from becoming future victims. 

These held a presentation Wednesday night showing videos which define human trafficking. There were also victim testimonies along with a Q&A. 
“I was in shock when i found out the age for human trafficking is 11 to 14. That’s really young. That’s younger than i am. I know a lot of people that age and so it’s hard to think that they’re in middle school,” said Lucy Lilienthal who’s one of the organizers of the event. 
“For a lot of people human trafficking is something that they might not learn about on their own so it’s important that we go out to the community and spread awareness and let other people know,” said Katherine Thorpe, also a student at Newton Senior High. 
It’s the first presentation through the newton chapter and it’s gaining support from people like former criminal investigator Mike Ferjack who served on the Iowa Department of Justice. 
“We have programs that come in and give presentations and then they leave. But as you can see here have students whose presence is here so that means the idea is still here and the conversation is still here,” said Ferjak. 
Teens Against Human Trafficking has advocates in at least 45 schools and 18 counties. 
Signs that someone could be a victim of human trafficking include: 
The person is accompanied by another person who seems controlling. 
The person is rarely seen in public. 
The person starts to miss class or work or drops out of school all together. 
To find out more on human trafficking or if to get students at your school involved you can contact Teens Against Human Trafficking. 

©TEGNA Inc. 2019. All Rights Reserved.