It’s a difficult topic to talk about, so Andrew Carroll isn’t using words.
The University of South Florida professor of dance recently made a video highlighting the dangers of human sex trafficking. Called “Speaking Without Words: Human Sex-Trafficking Awareness,” the video uses no words and instead relies on visual storytelling. Carroll said by not relying on spoken language to get the message across, more people will be able to understand.
- USF professor created video to address human sex trafficking
- The video, "Speaking Without Words: Human Sex-Trafficking Awareness," doesn't use any words
- The goal is for the video to reach people who may need it
“Anybody can show them and anybody can understand what’s going on through the dance and the pantomime that is happening,” Carroll said.
The 10-minute piece explores the relationship between the two main characters – a man and a woman. They are introduced and quickly become close, until the man forces her down a dark road. The video is not explicit but implies violence, prostitution and abuse.
“It felt real, it definitely felt real,” Madison McGrew said, who plays the female lead. “It wasn’t like I was putting on a show for this role.”
Antonio Morillo plays the male lead, “the so-called Romeo pimp,” he said. The character was a difficult role for Morillo, but important.
“As story tellers, we’re not always going to play the protagonist or the hero,” he said. “I felt it was really important that even though this person is nothing like who I am in real life, I try to portray them accurately as possible because there are people like this out there.”
For McGrew, being part of this project made her feel like she could make a difference.
“It brought a new lens to what I could do for social change,” McGrew said.
The video already has a global audience. The World Health Organization is distributing the video. Also, the Association of American Schools is South America is making it available in their classrooms across the continent. The video not only teaches people about the signs of human trafficking, but shares the number for the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline multiple times.
Carroll hopes this video reaches people who need it.
“Somewhere, someone might see it and decide ‘I need help’ and call that number,” he said. “That would be the ultimate goal.”
The National Human Trafficking Resource Center can be reached online at traffickingresourcecenter.org and by phone at 1-877-3737-888.