I Am Jane Doe Spotlights the Battle Against Human Trafficking
On December 8, the Metro NY chapter hosted a screening of the film I Am Jane Doe at Chelsea’s SVA Theater. The screening was followed by an informative dialogue with distinguished panelists Reverend Que English, founder of the Bronx Clergy Criminal Justice Roundtable, and Shandra Woworuntu, founder of Mentor Human Trafficking Survivor Empowerment Program, member of the U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking, and a victim of human trafficking.
The documentary tells the stories of the victims of human trafficking in the United States, and their mothers. They bravely share their experiences and open up about the struggles of readjusting to everyday life after the young girls were found.
The film (which can also be viewed on Netflix) follows the long and frustrating legal battle that the victim’s families endure. These families’ paths are brought together in their efforts to shut down Backpage.com, an advertising website that hosted a massive amount of trafficking deals.
After the screening, Reverend Que and Shandra discussed the importance of spreading awareness getting involved to end this issue. Reverend Que told the audience, “We’re not dealing with a mom-and-pop operation, it’s a 150 million dollar business.” She emphasized just how important it is to get out there and do something and that “your something can be making phone calls or writing letters to the Senate, telling them to pass the SESTA bill.” Shandra agreed and emphasized that we also need to “encourage companies to be able to control whatever is uploaded” digitally so that sex-trafficking deals cannot continue without interference. The panelists closed on a hopeful note by encouraging the audience that change is possible and that efforts on the individual level are essential.