Sex trafficking survivor set for campus visit, classroom sessions

February 09, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A sex trafficking survivor who created an organization designed to raise awareness and to empower other survivors is planning a three-day visit to Penn State that will include a free public lecture, a variety of classroom or educational sessions, and a preview of a faculty-produced documentary aimed at combating sex trafficking.

Jennifer Kempton created Survivor’s Ink to assist others like her. The organization strives to help survivors of sex trafficking overcome the painful reminders of their past by offering cover-up tattoos or removal services for brandings and/or scars they received while being trafficked. 

Survivor’s Ink also works to create a national support network of providers to help survivors break the psychological chains of enslavement created by the scars of their pasts.

Kempton’s free public lecture — “Love is Not for Sale: From Victim to Survivor” — will be conducted at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 16, in Foster Auditorium of Paterno Library. Her visit is sponsored by the College of Communications, the College of Information Sciences and Technology, and the College of Nursing.

The public session will also include a preview of a film inspired by Kempton and other survivors. The film, “The Turn Out,” by Pearl Gluck, an assistant professor in the Department of Film-Video and Media Studies, aims to combat sex trafficking at truck stops in the United States.

During her visit, Kempton will work with College of Information Sciences and Technology researchers studying a website that has been found as a home for prostitution. She also plans to visit a social entrepreneurship class in the College of Communications and assist nurses in the College of Nursing to detect early signs of human trafficking — because research has found 87 percent of trafficking victims come in contact with a health care professional at least once while enslaved.

Survivor’s Ink also works to raise awareness of sex trafficking within communities through advocacy events and specialized training sessions. Those often feature survivors discussing their experience in local communities.

The organization offers full scholarships to survivors to have their branding tattoos covered or removed. It also maintains a network of partner organizations to serve survivors and victims of human trafficking, focusing on basic needs, connecting them with necessary services, and providing hope.

Last Updated February 16, 2016