The State of Sex Trafficking and How You Can Join the Fight with Vanessa McNeal Part 2 - #71

Vanessa McNeal is an inspiring national speaker and award-winning documentary filmmaker. From a young age, she has worked to overcome her own traumas of sexual assault and seeks to aid other survivors in their journey to recovery. Vanessa has appeared on two TEDx Talks and encourages others to speak out about their personal stories. 

Her recent documentary “Gridshock”, which has won two awards for its thought-provoking and raw content, explores the gruesome reality behind the sex trafficking industry in the state of Iowa. “Gridshock” delves into why this culture is rampant in our societies and what can be done to help deter the sex trafficking industry that exists so close to home.

Vanessa has given hope and motivation to sexual abuse survivors from all over to find their support system and to no longer feel the need to hide their past from the world. She continues to work with the concepts of compassion, forgiveness, and mercy when dealing with past traumas and how survivors can turn parts of their grief into strength.
 In this episode we will discuss:

  • Sex trafficking in Iowa and educating society

  • Creating and filming her documentary, “Gridshock”

  • Establishing an understanding of what trafficking entails

  • Determining how to help victims of trafficking

  • Vigilance and paying attention to people who seem distressed

  • Exploiting victims’ vulnerabilities

  • Warning signs when traveling

  • How to address possible trafficking crimes

  • Educating society- people we know are usually the predators of sexual violence

  • Understanding that trafficking and sexual abuse is prevalent throughout society


“We have to establish understanding on what the problem actually is. A lot of people think sex trafficking is kidnapping… it’s typically not the case. Most people know the person trafficking them.”

“Always be vigilant... We have this veil over our eyes in our lives where we are not paying attention to what happens. This is so underground…most of the time we’re not going to see it happen in the community… just pay attention.”

 Vanessa McNeal website:

Vanessa McNeal Twitter:

Vanessa McNeal YouTube:

Vanessa McNeal Tedx Talks:

“Gridshock” documentary website:

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