January was Human Trafficking Awareness Month and Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) held events on campus to bring attention to this topic. On Saturday, January 28, The Women’s Center and The Center for Community Engaged Learning held a brunch while they led a discussion about human trafficking. Held in The Women’s Center, the event drew in a significant crowd of people to hear about this issue and participate in the conversation around this topic. Alexus Garcia, a freshman at SNHU coordinated this event with the help of the two offices. Garcia said, “I think the event went extremely well. For a Saturday morning, it was amazing to see so many SNHU students interested in being aware of the effects on victims of human trafficking.” She introduced the speakers Ann-Marie Arruda, a licensed nurse in narcotics and a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) nurse, as well as Jessica Sugrue, CEO of the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) organization. They talked about how anybody can be trafficked from children to adults, male or female: it can happen to anybody. Garcia said, “I believe it’s very important for everyone to be educated on this matter, since it’s more local than most think. Between the labor trafficked victims and the food they harvest for us to eat, to sex trafficked victims that are controlled in the worse way, this subject surrounds us on a daily.
Even the smallest of background knowledge can make a difference to helping our fellow citizens.” Event-goer James Cowin said, “The degree of severity of human trafficking in the surrounding area is certainly eye opening. I’d say it opened my mind quite a bit.” To learn more about this global issue, stop by the Women’s Center located in the Green Center.