Documentary Aims to Highlight Issue of Sex Trafficking in Iowa

IOWA  --  Many Iowans are proud of the state's "Iowa Nice" identity, but even here, sex trafficking is a major problem.

A new documentary called Gridshock hopes to shed light on the issue. The creators hope to open people's eyes to the fact that sex trafficking happens in Iowa. The film will feature law enforcement, medical professionals, social workers, and will share the stories of victims and survivors.

The directors say they want this documentary to be a "wake up call."

"Sex trafficking is a form of modern day slavery where people are sexually and commercially exploited against their will," said Vanessa McNeal, one of the directors.

"We tend to think it only happens in bigger cities, but each month, nearly 900 unique sex workers are available in Iowa. On any given day, 150 children are being sex trafficked in the state," said co-director Alex Schuman.

Experts say Iowa is known for being a hot spot for trafficking because of the easy access to I-80 and I-35. Right now, the documentary's directors are hoping to raise $35,000 in the next 60 days to start production. More information on this can be found on the film's Facebook page. Once that happens, Gridshock is set to released next fall.