“We know there is trafficking in Junction City, Kansas City, Topeka and Wichita. We know there is trafficking in the large farming co-ops in Western Kansas. If there is trafficking in the big cities, you better believe that there is trafficking going on in rural areas and smaller towns,” said Kristen Tebow, 2011 Kansas State University (K-State) graduate, trafficking survivor, and founder of the campus group K-State Freedom Alliance. Wichita is the fifth and Kansas City is the fourth worst city in the nation for sex trafficking because the I-70 and I-35 highways are heavily used in moving trafficking victims and they intersect in Kansas, providing the perfect hub for traffickers.
K-State Freedom Alliance is a student-led organization that works to spread the word about human trafficking and what people can do to fight it. “[Our mission is] to bring forth awareness of the existence of human trafficking and to develop student activists engaged in preventing human trafficking, and raising funds to help non-profit organizations dedicated to the restoration of victims,” Tebow said. “Everyone thinks that Abraham Lincoln stopped slavery. The only thing that has changed is that it is illegal,” Tebow said. “What Freedom Alliance does is challenge how mainstream society thinks of human trafficking and give our students and Manhattan community the real information.”
Another problem in human trafficking is that not enough organizations are working together to make a difference. “There is a major divide between faith-based organizations and secular (non-profit or government) organizations.” Tebow said. “I think that if people are willing to let politics, morals and other things get in the way with helping people, then it should be considered a major problem.”
Learn more at Melanie Thomas’ The Collegian article: K-State, Manhattan organizations combat human trafficking.