F.A.S.T. battles human trafficking — in our backyard

An NKU student brings her idea and dream to life as she continues to try to raise awareness through the campus organization Fighting Against Sex Trafficking.

Fighting Against Sex Trafficking (F.A.S.T.) is a special interest student organization on campus created by Rebecca Potzner, a sophomore public relations major. The goals of this organization are to raise money for organizations that help victims, or potential victims, of human trafficking and to raise awareness that the human trafficking is still a problem today, even in the United States.

Potzner had the idea to start this organization in high school after she attended a Christ in Youth conference where she first saw the movie “Baht.” This movie is about a girl in Cambodia who was told that she was being taken to a restaurant job, but instead, she was taken to a brothel and forced into prostitution.

“It’s hard to explain what I felt when I was watching the video, but at the end I knew I had to do something about it,” Potzner said. “Working against sex trafficking has become something dear to my heart.”

Potzner explained that in high school, she and a group of friends had the idea to start F.A.S.T., but they all went their separate ways. She didn’t want the idea to die, so she started the organization at NKU in the spring of 2010. She said she thought NKU would be a perfect place to start raising awareness.

“With NKU being so close to Ohio, there could be such a huge impact on people because Ohio is in the top 12 states with the largest trafficking problem,” Potzner said.
Sharlene Lassiter Boltz, a professor of law at NKU and a member of Partnership Against Trafficking Humans, also said she believes that students need to be further educated about human trafficking. She explained that getting more information to college students about human trafficking is important because they need to become more observant, informed citizens.

P.A.T.H. of Northern Kentucky seeks to increase public and professional awareness of human trafficking and increase the number of traffic victims identified, rescued, protected and served in Kentucky. It is a synergy of various social service agencies, law enforcement, public and private attorneys, and non-governmental agencies committed to the anti-trafficking movement.

“Human trafficking is the second largest money maker worldwide, second to drug trafficking.” Lassiter Boltz said. “The key components of human trafficking are force, fraud and coercion. That’s how victims get trapped.”

Lassiter Boltz and Potzner are both advocates for bringing knowledge about this topic to the students of NKU and the surrounding community. Both women have a passion and drive to fight against human trafficking.

Students interested in joining the movement can contact Potzner at potznerr1@nku.edu, or they can join F.A.S.T. on http://nku.orgsync.com.

Story by Katelyn Snyder