The Oklahoma State University-Tulsa Cineculture Club will present a panel discussion and screening of ‘I Am Jane Doe,’ an exposé of the U.S. child sex trafficking industry at 5:30 p.m. at the OSU-Tulsa Auditorium.
The event is free and open to the public.
The critically acclaimed film tells the story of a group of American mothers waging a legal battle on behalf of their middle-school-aged daughters who were bought and sold for sex on Backpage.com, an adult classified ads section published for years in the iconic Village Voice.
Following the film screening, panelists Holly Hudelson, human trafficking educator for Unlock Freedom; Paula Royce, director of girls programming for the Tulsa County Juvenile Bureau; and Richard Harris, gangs specialist for the Tulsa County Juvenile Bureau, will discuss the active child sex trafficking industry in the Tulsa area.
“Child sex trafficking affects youth from every background – affluent and poor, educated or uneducated, on the streets or living in suburbia,” said Dr. Denni Blum, OSU-Tulsa associate professor of social foundations and qualitative inquiry and Cineculture Club sponsor.
The average age for sex trafficking recruitment is 12-14 years of age. Once a victim is recruited into sex trafficking, their life expectancy is an average of seven years, she said.
Under Oklahoma and federal law, any child under 18 years old who has been induced into commercial sex is a victim of sex trafficking – regardless of whether the trafficker used force, fraud or coercion.
The OSU-Tulsa Cineculture Club promotes social and cultural awareness and addresses diversity issues through a series of film and post-screening discussion events.