A voice of modern slavery speaks out

JU community educated about human trafficking through film, a guest speaker, and dance.


Ariel Merriweather

Human trafficking survivor, Telisia Espinosa, shares her story with the Jacksonville University community.

Human trafficking survivor, Telisia Espinosa, visited Jacksonville University to share her story on Thursday, Feb.13 in the Gooding Auditorium.

She is an advocate for victims of sex trafficking who helps by providing support and assisting victims to escape.

The presentation began at 7 p.m. with the showing of the short film ‘Not My Life.’ The film gave statistics and facts about human trafficking, but also told in-depth stories of other survivors all across the globe. An interpretive dance performance took place during the film before Espinosa gave her speech.

“I wanted to not only share my story, but empower you,” Espinosa said. “Not many girls can walk away like I did. My story is not my story unless I share what God did in my life.”

Espinosa explained what her experience of being trafficked was like and how she was able to escape from it.

She also discussed how girls are being trafficked here in Jacksonville, and how some college students are obtaining “sugar daddies” or “sugar mamas,” a form of prostitution.

She closed the evening by providing helpful phone numbers that anyone who suspects or is a victim of human trafficking can call for assistance. The numbers are 1-888-3737-888 and 1-800-ABUSE.