March 12, 2014 : AUDIO: “Shatter the Silence” Event to Shed Light on Human Trafficking
- Cheri Russo
Communications and Marketing Manager
Lancaster – An Ohio University Lancaster student wants to shatter the silence surrounding human trafficking and encourage others on campus to take action. That is why Antoinette Bowman of Circleville is organizing an event called “Shatter the Silence” to bring about awareness.
“I was in a project management class, and I had to create an event plan. I created the plan, and I thought why not actually use it to someone’s benefit and do something that will actually matter,” said Bowman. “I’ve been involved in fighting sex trafficking/human trafficking for the last few years, so that is where this led.”
Human trafficking is organized criminal activity in which human beings are treated as possessions to be controlled and exploited. Some are forced into prostitution or involuntary labor.
“It’s such a silent crime, and we all look away from it because it’s the sex industry. We do not want to talk about it,” said Bowman. “For me, it’s something I can’t look away from. Everybody has something, and this is my thing.”
The ‘Shatter the Silence” event will be on March 27 at 7 p.m. in Brasee Hall’s Wagner Theatre. There will be several speakers, a raffle and several booths with information on how others can take action against human trafficking.
“We think this doesn’t happen here in our backyard. But a lot of the time in the United States it happens with someone they trust,” said Bowman. “Perpetrators trick victims by saying they love them and care for them. Then the victims have a twisted concept of love.”
Bowman will graduate this coming fall. She plans to someday open her own boutique and employ survivors of trafficking. Bowman hopes the “Shatter the Silence” event will inspire others and the event will continue at OUL after she graduates.
“I know it’s a tough subject,” said Bowman. “But I think it will be a really great night, and we’re going to get a lot of hope out of it.”