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Studentís Human Trafficking Efforts Garner Spotlight
2/16/2012
Hannah FosheeHannah Foshee is an amateur writer and a certified self-defense instructor who can disarm a knife-wielding assailant, and she uses both skills in her campaign against sex trafficking in Houston.

Moved by stories she heard at women’s shelters from victims of human trafficking, the University of St. Thomas senior wrote a play to raise awareness of the issue. Her efforts garnered local news coverage and the play even aired Feb. 5 on KRIV Fox 26.

“Six Shots To Freedom” tells the story of a woman who attempts a dramatic escape from a life of forced prostitution. With help from a couple volunteer actors and her fellow students in UST’s Students Working Against Trafficking organization, the play debuted last month on campus and was performed again and filmed in the Fox 26 studio.

Foshee is a communications major who understands the power of both pen and sword. She interns at Fox 26 and plans a career in broadcast journalism but also is skilled in an Israeli self-defense technique that emphasizes neutralizing armed assailants.

While teaching self-defense at abused women’s shelters, Foshee encountered harrowing stories of women who had been smuggled into this country to live as indentured servants. They were intimidated and terrorized by the pimps who sold them as prostitutes to work in the city’s illegal brothels and seedy ‘massage parlors.’

Houstonians need to know about the sex trafficking and modern-day slavery happening in their midst, Foshee said, and she thought a play might help deliver that message in a powerful way.

“We’re a visual people and so we need to see these stories to appreciate what a dark situation this is,” Foshee said.

Always a passionate writer, she penned a play about a woman – played by Foshee – who is kidnapped and forced into a sordid life of prostitution and then finally snaps and shoots her pimp.

The help and advice of Dr. Livia Bornigia, an assistant professor of communications who also leads UST’s Social Justice Committee, was crucial in bringing the play to fruition, Foshee said.

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