Human Traffic Watch

SMAD majors win MTV national contest, working against human trafficking

In Human Trafficking on February 13, 2013 at 12:52 pm

For four JMU students, the $10,000 reward they won from a nationwide mtvU contest means much more than just money.

Media arts and design majors Kristen Hotz, Jasmine Jones, Danielle McLean and Liz Ramirez recently won mtvU’s “Against Our Will Challenge,” a contest designed to get college students involved in the fight against human trafficking.

Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing crimes in the U.S. and has been reported in all 50 states, according to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center.

The JMU students created an interactive video series called “The Backstory,” which uses social media to take viewers right into victims’ stories.

Their concept took about four-to-six weeks to develop and centered around the misconceptions of sex trafficking victims.

“Lots of people think that that these people are abducted, but there’s lots of psychological coercion that goes on and that’s just as powerful,” Ramirez said. “It happens abroad, but it could happen to someone you know, too.”

Seventy-three cases that reference potential trafficking situations were reported to the NHTRC from Jan. 1 to Sept. 30, 2012.

Source: Breeze JMU

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