CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — About 75 students, faculty and staff from Penn State Lehigh Valley attended a "Raise Awareness about Sex Trafficking" event on Nov. 7 at the Lehigh Valley campus.
The event featured guest speaker Kim Checkeye, the executive director of Truth for Women, an organization based in Bethlehem that serves formerly sexually exploited women by providing them with residential support, job skills, coaching and mentoring.
The Raise Awareness about Sex Trafficking event was sponsored by three student organizations from the Lehigh Valley campus — R.I.S.E., the Rehabilitation and Human Services (RHS) club, and the Campus Christian Fellowship.
“We decided to team up with RHS and Campus Christian Fellowship because we thought it was important to raise awareness about sex trafficking, which a lot of people don’t know happens here in the Lehigh Valley,” said Naseeba Saeed, president of R.I.S.E. and a junior corporate communication major and business minor at Penn State Lehigh Valley.
Sex trafficking is currently the second largest criminal industry in the world, and is quickly growing to be an even larger issue each day. There are an estimated 20.9 million sex trafficking victims worldwide, 88 percent of which are women and children.
Truth for Women also runs the Truth Home and My Sister’s Closet, both of which help benefit the sex trafficking cause. The Truth Home is a therapeutic residential home that offers a safe place for sexually exploited women to rebuild their lives. Additionally, My Sister’s Closet is a women’s resale boutique funded by Truth for Women that aims to provide restorative care for sexually exploited women and increase awareness.