Film kicks off National Women’s Month

By Jacqueline Evans

DeKALB | Human trafficking is not just a problem in impoverished countries, but also occurs in the United States.

The Women’s Resource Center kicked off the month of April, which is National Women’s Month, by hosting a viewing of The Forgotten Girls: Trafficked Girls in the United States.

The film chronicles young girls from New York City, ages 13-17, who were forced into prostitution. The girls featured in the film speak about the emotional and physical abuse they were forced to endure and their struggle to leave a life of prostitution.

Megan Woiwode, undergraduate assistant at the WRC, hosted the program and said she was happy about the message of the film.

“I think it went well; the film touched on some important issues that are usually swept under the rug,” Woiwode said. “We have to raise awareness about the issue of commercial sexual exploitation of children, and this film did a great job of it,”

After the film, Woiwode led the viewers in a discussion about the film that specified media’s acceptance of prostitution and how it adds to the problem.

“This is an overlooked issue because we have songs like ‘It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp’ winning Academy Awards, and shows on TV like ‘Pimp My Ride’ that make us forget how bad prostitution really is,” said Brandi Ellis, freshman secondary education major.

NIU students were impressed with the film and it’s message.

“I thought the film was very touching,” said junior sociology major LaToya Winters. “I didn’t know that child exploitation was a problem and that it was affecting girls so young.”

The film also spotlighted the program G.E.M.S., Girls Education and Mentoring Services, a place for young girls to go who are trying to get out of commercial sexual exploitation.

Senior communications major Ciera Davis said the film was inspiring and made them want to get involved with G.E.M.S.

“After seeing this film, I would love to open a place like GEMS because the problem is not just in New York, it’s all over the United States and the world,” Davis said.