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Lend me your voice!

Samantha Gervais

Anchor Staff Writer

Image via Pexels/Shvets Production

During my time writing and meeting the fantastic people I have, I’ve heard a plethora of stories from my peers. The good, the bad and the ugly. One such story leads me to write this one. As I sat in the media office with our talented photography editor, we talked about the growing problem that is human trafficking.

Never in my lifetime did I think that human trafficking would affect me in any shape or form or even become a problem for me, somehow. Now, I see videos of how to protect myself from it all over social media. Things to look out for, how to protect myself and even videos of people approaching mothers or groups of friends in public, acting odd and scouting unsuspecting people, most of the time, women.

I want to take a moment to commend my peer for sharing a close experience with sex trafficking she had recently. To share that kind of an experience takes a lot of courage, especially when it is still raw, no matter how deep and involved or “light” it may have been. Regardless, the experience is frightening. To hear her experience left me heartbroken for her, but also drove me to write my own viewpoint.

This isn’t necessarily an article totally about sex trafficking. Sex trafficking is becoming frighteningly more common and needs to be addressed far faster than it currently is. Women everywhere should be ready to protect themselves, everyone should have this knowledge so we can all protect each other.

Lending our voices to tell personal stories for the safety and wellbeing of our peers isn’t always as easy as just typing out the story and sending it off. If it were that simple, a lot of stories would be heard and shared in the blink of an eye. The process of one getting their thoughts down and having to relive some of the processes and memories involved can sometimes be traumatizing and hard to relive. Therefore, I’d like to just impress upon my peers whenever we share our personal stories to always thank one another.

Thank your classmate for opening publicly about a story that sounds like it may have been a little scary to talk about; thank them for speaking up about a matter that they stood alone on. It’s hard to talk about a harsh reality when your voice shakes and you’re alone.

Please always remember, the Rhode Island College campus has amazing support systems open to all students. I encourage all students to seek help whenever they don’t feel safe, or even feel as if they need to let out some negative feelings and experiences they’ve had. Two great resources on campus are counseling services and the H.O.P.E line that can be reached by phone at 401-456-4673.

You are never alone. RIC is a strong community and no matter what, we will all make sure each other is safe.


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