Laura Meyers occasionally receives phone calls in the middle of the night, but she doesn't mind the interrupted sleep. The senior is a volunteer for the Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center.
Meyers, a social work major, completed three different practicums for her major. She has worked for the Center for Women and Children, the Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center and the Human Trafficking Task Force.
As part of her practicum at the rape crisis center, Meyers was on call from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. a few nights per week. During this time, she would answer the Hotline, counsel victims of sexual assault, meet her clients at the hospital and help them through the process of counseling and health care. Meyers has continued to volunteer with the center even after completing her practicum.
"I loved being able to be there for them," she said.
This semester, she has been working with the Human Trafficking Task Force. This organization assists the victims of human trafficking, helping to find immediate housing, clothing, food and long-term counseling. They also work with the FBI and local police to prosecute the traffickers. A 2007 study by the University of Kentucky found as many as 69 cases of human trafficking in Kentucky. The study reported that immigrants as well as U.S. citizens were trafficked.