‘Ring of Silence’ to be screened at Northern Michigan University

Event organizers are acknowledging the film’s importance and say it is vital to discuss the reality of human trafficking
Event organizers say it's vital to discuss the reality of human trafficking.
Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 5:06 PM EST
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - The Upper Peninsula Human Trafficking Task Force and the Zonta Club of Marquette are showing the film “Ring of Silence” at Northern Michigan University Tuesday night.

“This is meant to have everyone come in together and visually see how human trafficking happens in a very easy way,” said the task force’s President, Stephanie Graef.

The 2019 movie reenacts the true stories of young teens who were lured into human sex trafficking in Flint.

Marquette County Sheriff Greg Zyburt is attending the event, saying it is important to spread the message about predators.

“Quite often,” he said, “it’s kids that aren’t supported at home, where the parents are busy or out doing other things and they don’t get the support. They become vulnerable.”

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children says the purchasing of pornography and sex online increased by 106% from the first to second year year of the pandemic.

Zonta Club member Darlene Kyto says the upcoming film event can help kids have those difficult conversations.

“{It can help} to have an open dialogue with their parents {and} with trusted other individuals,” she stated. “Not just to be sucked into something that they are not comfortable with.”

There will also be a Q&A session regarding the dangers of the issue. Last March, there was a sting operation in Marquette County, where five people were arrested.

Graef calls the movie screening vital and says there are takeaways.

“We want to educate the parents, the loved ones, and the teens on safe practices,” she explained, “but also ways to identify some people that might have bad intentions.”

The showing of “Ring of Silence” will begin at 5:30 p.m. in Ballrooms III and IV of the Northern Center this coming Tuesday.

Both the UPHTTF and the Zonta Club thank the following sponsors:

  • Community Foundation of Marquette County
  • Eagle Mine
  • NMU President’s Office
  • NMU Criminal Justice Association
  • Northern Michigan University Criminal Justice Department
  • Northern Michigan University Police Department
  • Thrivent

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