by Alex Ng, Chief Photographer
The subject of sex trafficking and sexual abuse seems foreign to many on campus. The overall marketing of a human being and their body, to be exploited for nefarious, downright cynical purposes, it seems like such a far-gone action.
It is easy to think that nothing as ludicrous as that could ever occur in Sacramento. However, Sacramento is ranked #1 of the top cities in the entire nation for sex trafficking. As a result of the city’s highways being juncture for many highways stretching across the state, it makes it easier for numerous trafficking rings to transport people throughout the state. Millions fall victim to this huge market, and still many often go unchecked, potentially discounting another million other unreported cases. One misconception of trafficking is that not only are women exploited, but men as well as children (12 to 14 years olds) are victims too.
Many efforts, however, are set forth to alleviate this endemic. Organizations such as UNICEF, Polaris, WEAVE, and My Sister’s House, serve as safe houses and strive to provide relief to many individuals with resources and supplies who are escaping harsh environments and are in need of shelter. In fact, clubs on Kennedy’s campus such as WeForShe, Endeavor, Key Club, CSF and Girls United have been working feverishly to support the effort. Collecting donations for victims, compiling care packages, and informing the student body on the topics of human trafficking and sexual abuse has been the focus.
Working in coalition with another organization located in Oak Park, CASH (Community Against Sexual Harm), members from each club all came together for the Holiday Mixer on December 6, 2016 to collectively create care packages that were later transported to the organization and then distributed to victims in need. The resulted product was 290 care packages, filled with everything from scarves to toiletries, necessities, all graciously donated by our very own student body.
WeForShe recently completed a successful drive in mid-January. The club collected used clothing, books, and feminine products to benefit victims of sexual assault, the sex trade, and domestic abuse with WEAVE. The club holds meetings every Wednesday at lunch in C-304.
Girls United meets every Monday during lunch in Mrs. Fugina’s classroom, Room B28. All students are welcome, especially those who are passionate in issues concerning women in our modern society, and want to learn how you can help.
Endeavor meets on Wednesdays during lunch in Mr. Gleason’s room, Room C314. The club tries to tackle a different topic every year. In past years have hosted large seminars discussing the topic of sexual abuse, and even first hand accounts of victims. The club continues to coordinate efforts to notify the student body on social issues that affect our society today.
The furthering of education is not limited to the confines of school, and it is necessary that every person on campus be more proactive in learning for themselves, as well as teaching others the real dangers that are rampant in our nation. Anyone interested in learning more is invited to join many of your fellow compatriots in the listed clubs above. All three have big plans for the rest of the year, working with WEAVE and many other programs, through the hosting of speeches and seminars for the public, and are excited to share the experience with you.