Documentary sheds light on horrors of human trafficking in Michigan, aims to spark change

Documentary will be released in February

January is National Human Trafficking Prevention Month and as part of it a new documentary produced locally here in Metro Detroit is working to expose the horrors of it.

DETROIT – A documentary produced in Metro Detroit is working to expose the horrors of human trafficking.

January is National Human Trafficking Prevention Month. The documentary, “Men Who Buy Sex—Everybody Pays,” is produced by the Wayne County Medical Society Foundation in partnership with Digital Media Works.

It shares the stories of survivors from Michigan.

“I was trafficked from 3 to 13, my dad is the one who trafficked me,” said one survivor.

Stories like that were not easy for producer Lisa Jackson to listen to.

“When you hear their stories, you’re almost stunned into silence. There’s really nothing to come back with when you hear what they’ve gone through,” Jackson said.

As painful as it is to relive, there is a purpose. The goal is to inform and create a bigger push for new laws to better punish traffickers and buyers.

“Right now the victims are punished equally. The model that we look for is something called the equality model, whereby both the traffickers and the commercial buyers would receive the harshest penalties,” Jackson said.

The mission is in the title, the logic is if buyers are held accountable, lives will be saved.

“Buying commercial sex drives up the demand for human trafficking, and puts vulnerable people at risk for being trafficked, children. Many vulnerable people get lured into human trafficking as the demand goes up,” Jackson said.

On Feb. 23, there will be a private screening for police, prosecutors, government officials and activist groups.

After the private screening, the documentary will be released late February, for people to download. The link will be on the documentary’s Facebook page.

Click here to watch a trailer for the documentary. Or watch it via the embedded video below.

Read: More human trafficking news coverage

About the Author:

Megan Woods is thrilled to be back home and reporting at Local 4. She joined the team in September 2021. Before returning to Michigan, Megan reported at stations across the country including Northern Michigan, Southwest Louisiana and a sister station in Southwest Virginia.