Mega-stars such as Bradley Cooper, Justin Timberlake and Ashton Kutcher are taking part, and now, so is Heidelberg’s president, Rob Huntington, and Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz, ‘08. They have joined people all over the world who have taken and posted photos on social media, using the hashtag “Real Men Don’t Buy Girls” to raise awareness about human trafficking and support survivors.
Sisters in Shelter, the local safe house for survivors of human trafficking, is taking part in the campaign. ’20 grad and honors student Leah Cordy, who’s working as the community outreach advisor for Sisters in Shelter, is organizing the movement locally.
Leah explained that the campaign is a way for men to show that they are against human trafficking and support survivors. “Often times, people forget that the sex trafficking industry would not exist if there was not a market for it,” she says. “Taking a stand and saying ‘Real Men Don’t Buy Girls,’ suggests that it is uncool and unmanly to purchase women and young girls through human trafficking.”
The campaign has been promoted on various social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. Kutcher and Demi Moor started it in 2011, but it’s still going strong, Leah explained. She holes Sisters in Shelter’s involvement will spark a local awareness and gain support for the issue locally.
In addition to educating the community and spreading awareness, Sisters in Shelter also currently supports several clients who are survivors of human trafficking and/or domestic violence by providing safe housing, financial support, case management and other needs.
Leah would love to see more Heidelberg men get involved in the campaign, especially student athletes and members of Greek life who are often role models. “We want to make it as clear as possible that objectifying and sexualizing women is not cool and neither is purchasing them,” she says.
This fall, Leah, who double-majored in political science and international studies and minored in German in Heidelberg’s Honors Program, will begin studies in the PlusOneAdvantage® Full-Tuition Scholarship MBA program.