Sisters to host ‘The True Costs: Stories of Human Trafficking’

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All single women ages 18-42 are invited to join the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana and the Illinois Women Against Human Trafficking for a virtual performance of “The True Costs: Stories of Human Trafficking,” scheduled for 4-6:30 p.m., EST, on Saturday, Jan. 23.

The production offers a voice to forgotten people, including those who are forced into sexual servitude, children exploited for slave labor and adults lured into domestic labor that eventually turns into entrapment.

The production was written by Jenny Magnus and will be performed by the Still Point Theatre Collective.

Following the performance, all in attendance are invited to a post-show panel discussion with local experts and activists and after that, time for questions and answers will take place with Sister Barbara Sheehan, SP, who is also a member of the Illinois Women Against Human Trafficking, an organization which has existed for 12 years.

Sister Barbara has been ministering for awareness while also advocating for the end of human trafficking for almost two decades.

“It is crucial for others to understand children, young adults – primarily girls – and adults are exploited through both sex and labor trafficking right here in the United States,” Sister Barbara said. “Of the more than 20 million worldwide, there are approximately 25,000 to 30,000 annually in America.

“The coronavirus pandemic has had a terrible impact in increasing victims caught in poverty, desperation, food insecurity and lack of health care who are forced into sex and labor for exploitation and unfair wages.”

Sister Barbara added it is critical for all to learn more about these atrocities in order to help find ways to combat human trafficking.

“It is vitally important that we address this sin and horror of the greed and exploitation because of Human Trafficking, the stealing of one’s dignity, personhood, self-worth and human flourishing,” Sister Barbara said. “Trafficking violates all principles of social justice in the Catholic Social Teaching and harms all of humanity, bringing it to objectification.”

She said the performance will shock those who attend the Jan. 23 virtual event.

“This play got into my gut in a very deep way. It is truly powerful,” Sister Barbara said. “I think we have hidden this so well, and covered it up.”

Space is limited and the registration deadline is Jan. 19. For more information, visit Stories.SistersofProvidence.org or call Sister Joni Luna at 361-500-9505 or email jluna@spsmw.org.

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