Indiana organizations host documentary on campus to promote human trafficking awareness

Catherine+Champagne%2C+assistant+program+director+for+Student+Wellness+at+USI%2C+explains+the+concept+of+the+documentary+Shattered+Dreams%3A+Sex+Trafficking+in+America.+The+documentary+was+shown+Tuesday+at+the+Mitchell+Auditorium+in+the+Health+Professions+Center+to+promote+National+Human+Trafficking+Prevention+Month.+%28Photo+by+Alyson+Collins%29

Photo by Alyson Collins

Catherine Champagne, assistant program director for Student Wellness at USI, explains the concept of the documentary “Shattered Dreams: Sex Trafficking in America.” The documentary was shown Tuesday at the Mitchell Auditorium in the Health Professions Center to promote National Human Trafficking Prevention Month.

Alyson Collins and Ian Young

The Southwest Indiana Regional Coalition Against Trafficking and the Indiana Trafficking Victims Assistance Program hosted an event Tuesday featuring a documentary and a question panel to raise awareness for Human Trafficking Awareness Month. 

The film, “Shattered Dreams: Sex Trafficking in America,” was shown at the Mitchell Auditorium in the Health Professions Center. 

Human trafficking is a serious violation of human rights.”

— Catherine Champagne, assistant program director of Student Wellness

“Shattered Dreams: Sex Trafficking in America” is a documentary from the perspective of three survivors of sex trafficking. The documentary also features experts in the field who discuss how sex trafficking can be prevented. According to the documentary, sex trafficking occurs in all 50 states.

“Human trafficking is a serious violation of human rights,” said Catherine Champagne, assistant program director of Student Wellness. “It is the trade of humans most commonly for the purpose of sexual slavery, forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation. ‘Shattered Dreams’ is a first-of-its-kind documentary that explores these deeply rooted psychological issues that victims of sex trafficking face on a daily basis through firsthand testing.”

Students that attended the event were shocked by the reality of these crimes.

Attendees eat popcorn at the "Shattered Dreams" film screening and panel discussion Tuesday at the Mitchell Auditorium in the Health Professions Center. (Photo by Alyson Collins)
Attendees eat popcorn at the “Shattered Dreams” film screening and panel discussion Tuesday at the Mitchell Auditorium in the Health Professions Center. (Photo by Alyson Collins)

“I knew that it was a problem here in America, but just after watching it, it’s so heartbreaking to realize how much more of a problem it actually is,” said Danna Schu, freshman triple major in public relations, advertisement and global studies. 

Amy Wilkerson, adult learner support specialist, promotes the resource table brought by the Indiana Trafficking Victims Assistance Program. The table shared resources to help people spot red flags and make reports for sex trafficking. The table was featured at the "Shattered Dreams" film screening and panel discussion event Tuesday at the Mitchell Auditorium in the Health Professions Center. (Photo by Alyson Collins)
Amy Wilkerson, adult learner support specialist, promotes the resource table brought by the Indiana Trafficking Victims Assistance Program. The table shared resources to help people spot red flags and make reports for sex trafficking. The table was featured at the “Shattered Dreams” film screening and panel discussion event Tuesday at the Mitchell Auditorium in the Health Professions Center. (Photo by Alyson Collins)

“They don’t have a support system,” said Lillian Eldridge, freshman social work major. “That’s very sad and how the age range that most people look for. It’s just absolutely terrifying.”

According to the U.S. Department of State, the month of January is dedicated to raise awareness about human trafficking and to educate the public about the crime. 

If you see something, say something, even if you feel like something is off.”

— Christina Wicks, Region 11 Coalition coordinator

“It all comes down to education and being aware of your surroundings,” said Christina Wicks, Region 11 Coalition coordinator. “If you see something, say something, even if you feel like something is off.”

To report cases of human trafficking, call:

  • National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1 (888) 373-7888
  • Holly’s House: (812) 437-7233
  • Hillcrest Youth Services: (812) 428-0698
  • Albion Fellows Bacon Center: (812) 422-9372
  • Vanderburgh Sheriff’s Office: (812) 421-6276