IJM stands for 27 hours against sex trafficking

Quiche Matchen

The International Justice Mission chapter at WKU began spreading awareness of sex trafficking in January and are now planning a 27-hour stand to represent the 27 million that are enslaved.

The stand will be in Centennial Mall from Wednesday at 7 a.m. to Thursday at 10 p.m.

At 9 p.m. Wednesday there will be a worship service where people can sing and play guitar. Overnight, the group will write different facts with chalk about slavery and a prayer circle “to show God’s light into it.”

Independence sophomore Elyssa Carmony, president of IJM, said the event is sacrificial.

“We’re giving up something, but in the smallest way, to understand how awful it must be to be a victim of human trafficking,” she said. “There are things worse in people’s lives than having to stand for 27 hours.”

Carmony said this is part of an international event by IJM for modern-day human slavery.

“College campuses all over the world have done this event,” she said.

Carmony said the group wants people to feel uncomfortable about sex trafficking, because it’s uncomfortable to know that people are being enslaved.

The group will have a table set up called “loose change to loosen chains.” Proceeds will be sent to IJM headquarters, and to lawyers and social workers that have rescued victims.

“We have petitions to send to President Obama,” Carmony said.

The petitions and letters will include having a budget in the president’s funds to eradicate slavery, make slavery eradication a diplomatic priority in every county that it exists and more.

Louisville junior Madalyn Wilbanks, vice president of IJM, said there’s a spot for students to sign and the organization is going to send it to IJM headquarters, who will then send it to the president.

“We’re hoping to get a lot sent and make a change that way,” she said.

Carmony said the group has faces of victims that have stories on them; a slavery has a face campaign.

“It puts a face on who you’re standing for; it makes it real and not just a number,” Carmony said.

Wilbanks said the organization is excited for what the night holds and spreading awareness.

“It’s going to be great, and I look forward to getting to talk to people on campus about what slavery is and stir that passion in other people as well,” she said.

Wilbanks said she encourages all to come out to the event and to join this movement.

Louisville sophomore Morgan Green was encouraged and will be attending the event and joining the movement.

“I was really surprised when I learned about it in the U.S.,” she said. “This is a great way to let people know and spread awareness.”

Green said she heard about the sex trafficking movement at The Passion Conference, a Christian student conference in Georgia.

“I tried to help out, and I thought this was a great way to do it,” she said. “It’s important that people are treated fairly and justice is served. Help people that can’t fight for themselves.”