ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Women for Women, a giving circle of The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina, brought the film “The Long Night” to the Grail Movie House on Oct. 15 to spotlight human trafficking.

A Q&A session was held afterward.

The fundraiser’s proceeds went to benefit the work of Our Voice, an organization that provides programs to end sexual assault and rape.

Asheville is identified as having factors that contribute to human trafficking, and the film described these factors through the stories of several families. Two of the seven stories highlighted in the film mirrored the lives of individuals that had been trafficked in the mountain town.

“No community is immune from human trafficking, including Western North Carolina,” said Angelica Wind, executive director of Our Voice, parent agency of Working to End Sex Trafficking in North Carolina (WEST NC). The agency’s new project offers hope that modern day slavery can be abolished. Through the creation of a rapid response team, WEST NC will coordinate efforts to support trafficking victims during the first, critical day or two after they decide to leave their perpetrators. A case manager employed by the agency will then provide the resources each victim needs so that they may be empowered to build a future outside the life of human trafficking.

“For too long, we have operated under the erroneous assumption that human trafficking is something that just doesn’t happen here. Victims of human trafficking are indeed hard to identify. But they are here, in our backyard. And the more people can identify victims of human trafficking, the more likely those victims are to be appropriately referred to services that can help them build lives that are free from the daily terror of slavery.”

Women for Women has funded WEST NC through a grant to Our Voice. Our Voice provides services to the entire community, including those who identify as LGBT.


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Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen was formerly QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director from 2001-2019 when she retired.