With Halloween around the corner, International Justice Mission and Alpha Phi Omega have united to host Horrors of Human Trafficking to raise awareness of the trauma of modern day slavery. The event will be taking place in the Student Union Auditorium Thursday, Oct. 26, from 5-9 p.m.
Although this is the first year for this event, IJM dedicates its time year-round to raising awareness and fighting against all forms of human trafficking.
Cassie Hall is the president of UT’s chapter of IJM and is one of the individuals who helped organize this event.
“IJM means everything to me. I joined last October as a freshman and after the first meeting, I knew this was the perfect organization for me,” Hall said. “I love everything that IJM stands for, and all the members are amazing.”
Hall was responsible for planning a large portion of the event, as well as overseeing the other involved members.
“I have had a lot of help from my amazing members, but there have been a lot of things
that they couldn’t really help with,” Hall said.
The event will include various fall-themed games, snacks and activities. There will also be pumpkin decorating at the event.
Demma Strausbaugh, the treasurer of UT’s chapter of IJM, was responsible for budgeting and planning the games.
“We have games like the 'witch hat toss' where people use rings and try to toss them over a witch hat. There will be plinko, mummy relay races, pumpkin painting and some more fun games. You'll have to come to find out,” Strausbaugh said.
In addition to these activities, there will also be a free showing of the film Nefarious: Merchant of Souls at 7:30 p.m.
This film is a documentary released in 2011, exploring the worldwide issue of human trafficking.
“This documentary goes deep into the secrets of human trafficking and what is really is like for these women,” Hall said. “At times, it can be hard to watch.”
Both Hall and Strausbaugh expressed how important this event is to them.
“Horrors of Human Trafficking is important because everyone can always learn more about human trafficking,” Hall said. “This crime is still very much hidden and under the surface. There are many people who still don’t believe human trafficking is occurring, but the harsh reality is that human trafficking is real.”
“This event and IJM as a whole mean a chance for people to open up their eyes to a very dark part of our world that people either don't know about or choose to ignore,” Strausbaugh said. “This is a chance for at least one more person to understand how awful human trafficking is and become knowledgeable about a terrible crime.”
While the screening of the documentary is free, tickets are required for the other activities. Tickets are on sale at AskRocky in the Student Union before and during the event.
All of the proceeds from this event will go towards supporting IJM.
This article was edited on Oct. 26. Strausbaugh is the treasurer of IJM, not the vice-president as written before.