With “27 Has a Name” event, SMC students hope to raise awareness about human trafficking
WHO: SMC students, SMC alumnus Madison Morehead ’17 and Beth Thomas of Switch, an Upstate organization that fights human trafficking and sexual exploitation.
The event is free and open to the public. It’s sponsored by the SMC Student Government Association.
WHAT: “27 Has a Name” refers to the estimated 27 million men, women and children trapped in human trafficking across the globe. College students are at risk of being lured into trafficking through manipulative friendships/relationships or fraudulent job opportunities. SMC students will present warning signs that a person may be a victim of sexual exploitation, including appearing malnourished, physical evidence of abuse and more. Beth Thomas will speak about the services offered by her organization, Switch. Madison Morehead will return to campus to present the demographic makeup of human trafficking victims.
This is the second year the event has been held at SMC.
WHEN: Tuesday, Feb. 27, at 7 p.m.
WHERE: Gibbs Auditorium, located in Ellis Hall on the SMC campus (http://www.smcsc.edu/campus-map).
MORE: “The Upstate is between Atlanta and Charlotte, two of the top 10 cities in the U.S for human trafficking,” says Morehead. “Traffickers frequently travel along I-85 to get to these two cities; however, sometimes they will leak into the towns around the highway for refuge or new business opportunities.”
According to Morehead, Greenville County is ranked #1 in South Carolina for human trafficking cases. She notes that the rise in the number of cases may be a result of increased awareness in recent years. In 2017, there were 47 confirmed cases of sex trafficking, and 13 cases of labor trafficking (Humantraffickinghotline.org).
“These may seem like small numbers compared to a grand scale, but they will rise in the next few years with the increase in pornography use, prostitution and the demand for sex,” said Morehead.
Madison Morehead, Class of 2017