Students of Tiffin University's Alpha Iota sorority hosted a session to discuss the continuing topic of human trafficking Wednesday.
Human trafficking is known as modern day slavery, Judy Hofmann said.
Hofmann, an associate for the Sisters of St. Fancis of Tiffin, presented a lecture on what human trafficking is and how to possibly prevent it in the future.
"There are more slaves today than leading up to the Civil War," Hofmann said.
Students were divided into groups to perform several activities. Each activity was designed to open up the minds and reveal certain aspects about the human trafficking process.
"The Sisters of St. Francis want to educate as many as possible to make them aware of the problem at hand," Hofmann said.
Human trafficking is not just sexual in nature; it also can be through labor and the victims are men, women, girls and boys of all ages.
The life expectancy for these victims is very low, Hofmann said.
"Over the years the victims just become empty shells," she said.
Hofmann urges individuals to learn more and teach others by spreading the word.
"People should support any legislation that is in place and help fund organizations and agencies that assist in the treatment and rehabilitation of the victims," Hofmann said.
Several years ago, the Sisters of St. Francis established a program called the Sisters in Shelter for victims of human trafficking and individuals who are immigrants. Now, Sisters in Shelter and the Seneca County Coalition Against Human Trafficking, is informing the public and raising awareness about the issue by giving presentations and looking for a new safe house for the victims of human trafficking.
The sisters give their presentations to school groups, church groups, law enforcement, medical personnel and anyone that may come in contact with possible victims.
Sorority President Taylor Pierce heard of the education programs on human trafficking from other students.
"They told me they had some experience working with victims of sex trafficking, and I thought they would be an excellent choice for a speaker," Pierce said.
The sorority chose to support this cause and to support Love 146, which works toward the abolition of child trafficking and exploitation through prevention and aftercare solutions. The movement began in 2002. The co-founders traveled to Southeast Asia on a exploratory trip where they witnessed children being sold for sex.
"The women of the Alpha Iota sorority feel it is an important issue, and organizations, like Love 146, need as much support as possible," Pierce said.
"It is our hope that the people that attend the session will be motivated to donate their time to help possible victims or shelters, organizations dedicated to helping victims and to be more aware of how serious sex trafficking can be," she said.
To call in a tip or for information, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center's hotline at (888) 373-7888.
For more information from the Sisters in Shelter, contact Sr. Mary Kuhlman at mkuhlman@tiffin
franciscans.org or (419) 350-6786.