By Nora Gnabasik, Staff Writer
Members of the International Justice Mission relieve victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression, according to IJM.org.
IJM is a worldwide organization with more than 80 chapters attempting to deter human trafficking, read the website.
Habekott said she started the university’s chapter of IJM, which has two members, because she feels a calling to IJM’s mission.
“I’m just so passionate about human trafficking, and I want people to know about it,” Habekott said. “It would be a great way to get people who are passionate about it to come together and feel like they are doing something.”
Human trafficking isn’t solely an international issue, she said.
About 150,000 people were sex slaves in the United States between 2001-05, according to a 2005 Department of Justice report.
A lead officer on the Oklahoma City Human Trafficking Task Force said more than 100 cases of sex trafficking children opened during the task force’s first year of operation, according to oathcoalition.org.
“This should be even more devastating for Oklahomans,” Habekott said.
The chapter has three main goals—raising awareness, being the voce for those who can’t speak out and raising funds for IJM.
These goals were addressed Feb. 28 at IJM’s first meeting, Habekott said.
Follow IJM on Twitter @ijmocu, she said.