Human trafficking documentary to screen at MU

Wednesday, August 5, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT; updated 4:49 p.m. CDT, Thursday, August 6, 2009

*CORRECTION: The first public screening of this film was in Toronto. An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the location.

COLUMBIA — A documentary that follows adolescent girls as they are manipulated into prostitution through violence, isolation and drugs will screen at MU next week.

“Very Young Girls,” a film about human trafficking in the United States, will show from 6 t0 9 p.m. Aug. 13 at Stotler Lounge in Memorial Union. The event is hosted by students from Rock Bridge High School, MU's Stop Traffic student organization and the Central Missouri Stop Human Trafficking Coalition.

Released in 2007, “Very Young Girls” was first publicly screened in Toronto.* Its first screening in the U.S. was at the 2008 True/False Film Festival. Emily Smith of the MU News Bureau said the film has renewed poignancy as further research is conducted.

“We’re discovering the problem isn’t just international or in big cities. It's also in smaller communities,” Smith said. “We need to shed light on it, create conversation, and we’re hoping people decide to act on what they see.”

Admission to the event is $5, and donations will be accepted. Proceeds will benefit Girls Educational and Mentoring Services, a nonprofit organization founded by Rachel Lloyd, a survivor of sexual exploitation and co-producer of the film.

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