“Know the Line” Awareness week

Point UniversityPoint University held its first “Know the Line” Awareness week February 8-12 to bring awareness to serious social issues impacting our world today, including human trafficking and domestic violence. Events were held each night of the week, including a discussion panel on healthy relationships, a self-defense class, and a presentation by notable experts in the field, Sallie Livingston, former Point University faculty member, and Dave McCleary, former Roswell Rotary president and advocate of the End It movement.

McCleary presented staggering statistics on human trafficking in the U.S. from the Polaris Project.

“1.6 million kids run away a year, and one out of four of those kids are trafficked,” said McCleary, who became aware of issue while volunteering at a Passion Conference.

Inspired by young people, McCleary explained, “It was the youth at that conference (Passion) that energized me to get involved in this … one person can make a difference and change the world.”

A former Point University instructor of sociology, Sallie Livingston presented on the realities of human trafficking, and warning signs. She shared her experience working with the issues that surround human trafficking in her field of social work, and painted a picture of what a survivor of human trafficking looks like.

“When we think about trafficking we often assume money is involved…but this occurs with the exchange of anything of value, it can be drugs, food, or a place to stay,” said Livingston. “What I really want you to focus on is not the darkness or depravity of this issue, but as I talk about these things I want you to know the survivors- these people that come out of these situations are some of the strongest people you will meet … it takes incredible strength and incredible courage.”

Both speakers concluded their presentation with a request for students to take action, by raising awareness, getting involved in legislation to combat human trafficking, and to report any warning signs or suspicious activities to a trusted authority figure.

Know the Line Awareness week was initiated by students concerned with the lack of knowledge about the issues of domestic violence and human trafficking. Alexandra Taylor and Jessica Langley, both seniors and varsity volleyball players, started spreading awareness with the dedication of a home game to the No More organization, a movement committed to raising public awareness about ending domestic violence and sexual assault. From there, the idea to spread awareness snowballed into a team effort between students and staff to host an entire week dedicated to promoting healthy relationships and combatting these social issues.

Tiffany Wood, assistant vice president of enrollment management and the area Title IX coordinator for students, saw the opportunity to get students involved in ending human exploitation. “It was so encouraging to see the passion our students have for these important issues. Moving forward, I hope to see even more students engage as we continue raising awareness”.

Together, Taylor, Langley and Point staff members worked to form a committee of students to develop events for the week. “This was truly a team effort, we couldn’t have done it without everyone’s contribution,” said Langley, “our committee included men and women, including Nehemiah Pace, Harsh Patel, Anna Kendrick, Melissa Cotney, and two members of administration Stacy Bartlett and Tiffany Wood.”

“We want people who have been hurt to seek healing, and maybe this (awareness week) plants the seed of healing,” said Alexandra. “And for people who have hurt others, for them to find forgiveness and grace”.

The week concluded with a focused day of prayer on Thursday, and an awareness tail gate on Friday at baseball and softball games.

For additional information about human trafficking, visit http://endhtnow.com/, or visit http://outofdarkness.org/. Additional information about the No More campaign to end domestic violence can be found at http://nomore.org/.