For most college students, school is one of the safest places to be. That didn’t prove true for Danielle, a young woman featured in the new documentary film “TRICKED.” Danielle met a guy through friends in college, and it turned out that he was a pimp, and he trafficked her for two years before she was able to escape. She shares her story, alongside other survivors, in “TRICKED,” premiering in New York this Friday.
Danielle decided to share her story in “TRICKED” after volunteering with Polaris Project, a nonprofit that is working to end human trafficking, and meeting the film’s director Jane Wells and her nonprofit, 3Generations.
Danielle is looking forward to seeing how the film helps to raise awareness about human trafficking, saying that “I believe this film is going to be an eye-opener for many people who have either shut their eyes towards this issue or will be opening them to it for the first time. My hope is that it educates and motivates people to demand change.”
As a survivor of sex trafficking, Danielle has a unique point of view on the ways in which survivors are treated, and the stigma they often have to endure. “Survivors of trafficking are just like anyone else. Sex trafficking can happen to anyone, anywhere,” Danielle says. “So when you see a survivor, you should realize that you could be seeing yourself.”
Though the issue might seem overwhelming, there are a number of ways that college students can take action on human trafficking. If a friend is at risk of being trafficked, Danielle recommends contacting the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (at 888-373-7888). “They will look into the tip and get law enforcement involved if necessary,” says Danielle. Danielle also suggests being a supportive friend: “you could always try to talk to your friend about what is going on and see if they are willing to get help.”
There are also many ways that you can make a difference on the issue more broadly. “The issue of sex trafficking is thriving in cities all around the United States, right in our own backyards. We need to stop denying there is a problem and start agreeing on how we can prevent and end it,” Danielle says. Besides learning about the issue and standing up against music and pop culture that glamorizes pimps, she suggests many other ways you can take a stand. “Help make a difference by talking about the issue, writing to legislation regarding bills that need to be passed to give harsher punishments to johns and pimps, volunteering time to help non-profits in your area or maybe even doing a paper or thesis on the issue,” Danielle recommends.
For more information, check out the links below.
See The Film
Learn more about the film "TRICKED," and where you can see it in your area.
Go inside The Backstory
What if someone you knew ended up in modern-day slavery? Go inside the Backstory to find out and take action.