On-campus organization stands for 27 hours to protest sex trafficking

Quiche Matchen

The group that has been spreading awareness about sex trafficking and slavery on campus had a 27-hour stand this week at Centennial Mall to spread awareness at from 7 a.m. Wednesday until Thursday at 10 p.m.

Louisville junior Madalyn Wilbanks, International Justice Mission vice president, said the event was fun.

“People have really been getting involved and have helped rally people to come join this movement,” she said.

Wilbanks said people looked at them like they’re crazy for standing for 27 hours.

“It’s a sacrifice we’re willing to make, to spread awareness,” she said.

Although the organization got weird looks for taking a stand, they managed to get 1,225 signatures on their petition that is going to be sent to President Barack Obama. 

People also donated, and President Gary Ransdell made an appearance.

Independence sophomore Elyssa Carmony, IJM president, said Ransdell came out and asked questions.

“He took pictures, and said he’s all for it and is proud of us for taking a stand,” she said.

Carmony said the event turned out better than she thought.

“A lot more people care about this, and we’ve had so many people ask about it,” she said. “It’s important that people on campus learn about sex slavery.”

Carmony said a lot of people didn’t know sex trafficking happened in Kentucky.

“It’s been amazing to share information, although it’s horrible, it’s a great way to spread awareness,” she said.

Carmony said Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, a sexual assault protest, ended right behind them and IJM talked to them about sex trafficking.

“God planned all of this to happen today, and we’re grateful for it,” she said.

Carmony said IJM got to offer fraternities and sororities service hours, and the groups have been very supportive. She said she’s glad they get to learn about their movement and spread awareness to their brothers and sisters.

Louisville senior Jordan Mattingly said she came out to the event because of Omega Phi Alpha’s national service hours.

“I also came because my sorority sister has done this in the past,” she said. “I hope more people come because it’s a great cause.”

Franklin freshman Katie Mann said she wanted to give herself a voice.

“Because a lot of people don’t have a chance to speak about this, but I have the chance to speak about this,” she said. “I want to give men and women a voice because their voices can’t be heard.”

Both participants signed the petition that will be sent off to Obama and took pictures for a collage to be sent to IJM headquarters.