Through a Q&A, Jeff Davis (owner of Hoover, Alabama-based Fowler Davis Entertainment) shares how his work team is bringing awareness to human trafficking. Jeff originally shared his story in the April issue of his N2 neighborhood publication, Beyond the Rocks.
Human Trafficking is so prevalent now. Can you educate us on what it is and what it is not?
Estimates show that up to 40% of all domestic trafficking occurs in the Southeast with the average age victims falling prey between 12-14. Human trafficking is defined as any and all work or services that one is forced to perform involuntarily or under threat, coercion, abduction, fraud, deceit, deception or abuse of power. Human trafficking is the fastest growing enterprise in the world and second largest criminal industry in the world reaping $150+ BILLION. A human being is trafficked every 40 seconds. It can happen to anyone regardless of race, age or gender.
What are the signs so that we can be more aware of a potential trafficking situation?
Warning signs of a person being trafficked include the inability or fear to make eye contact; appears malnourished or on drugs; is being controlled by another person – will not speak to you alone; avoids eye contact or social interaction with others; shows evidence of physical, mental or sexual abuse; inappropriately dressed for their age; has fear or distrust of authority; demeanor is fearful, anxious, depressed, submissive, tense or nervous; is a chronic runaway/homeless youth.
Tell us about the film you produced on the topic of Human Trafficking.
Our short film, Hidden Gem, is based on two different cultures. One is a timid traveler who stops at a gas station/convenience store and is confronted with the reality of sex trafficking. She must decide quickly the best way to help save someone who does not appear to desire freedom. The second is a teen girl who has met a handsome young man at a party who lavishes her with attention and gifts. She is smitten and is living the dream, but what happens next will become her worst nightmare.
Why did you choose this particular project or what drew you to volunteer for this cause?
We started Fowler Davis Entertainment with a specific mission…to produce video and films that promote public awareness and raise public consciousness around important causes. When our collaborative partners at Red Sky Studios brought us the project, there was no question regarding our willingness to sign on. We hope this film alerts parents of the potential dangers their children and our society face each day. We want to encourage churches and businesses to partner together with organizations who provide help and whose goal is to mentor victims of human trafficking on how to live a normal life. We are confident that together we can make a meaningful difference.