Local coalition to present film on human trafficking
The newly formed Area Coalition Against Human Trafficking will present a film about human trafficking, "Not My Life," on Tuesday, April 22, at the Washington Public Library. A session from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. has been filled. A second showing begins at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Light refreshments will be provided.
Deb Bodensteiner and Cindy Kraft of Washington organized the coalition to raise awareness and to try to protect young people in the community.
Bodensteiner, director of Hamakua Place, attended her first human trafficking workshop in Iowa as plans were being made for the Stevens Center emergency youth housing at Hamakua Place. Hamakua Place has purchased the license for "Not My Life." The film is about human trafficking and modern slavery, and will last about an hour.
"We both have a strong passion and desire to stop what is going on and raise awareness in our local area because people are in denial," Bodensteiner said. "I was in denial."
Kraft talked about the way the media reports of human trafficking at Super Bowl time.
"I don't remember them talking about it before," she said. "It seems like this was the first year they really seemed to talk about it, so that was really good. The sad thing is that's all the time — not just Super Bowl."
Information from the coalition states that Iowa became the 14th state to pass a law criminalizing human trafficking in 2006. The first conviction in Iowa occurred in 2008.
Bodensteiner said that during a seminar she took on human trafficking and supporting documents, former Iowa Sen. Maggie Tinsman said, "Trafficking in persons is modern-day slavery, involving victims who are forced, defrauded or coerced into labor or sexual exploitation. Human trafficking is a serious problem in the United States and throughout the world."
Tinsman is also credited with saying that 80 percent of the people trafficked are women and girls.