ABC’s new show Big Sky is a series that very clearly depicts the horrors of human trafficking. One of the main characters, Ronald, a truck driver played by Brian Geraghty, kidnaps women who were involved in prostitution at truck stops and trafficks them with the help of his partner, Officer Rick Legarski (John Carroll Lynch). Two sisters, Danielle and Grace (Natalie Alyn Lind and Jade Pettyjohn), were on their way to visit Danielle’s boyfriend when they encountered Ronald while he was driving recklessly. Danielle screamed at Ronald for cutting them off on the road which left him frustrated. He started to follow them. The girls’ car broke down just before Ronald reached them. He tazed them and kidnapped them along with the woman who was working in prostution, one he had met at his truck stop.
The first season of the series depicted the girls’ struggles. They were locked in a trailer with very little and nearly inedible food and were chained together. They lived in fear, not knowing whether or not they would be alive the next day.
The show did a great job of showing who is more susceptible to trafficking while also proving that it could happen to anyone. Traffickers typically go after more vulnerable people, those living in poverty or those who don’t have the best family lives. In this case, those individuals would be the women who were initially working in prostitution. Officer Legarski was furious with Ronald for kidnapping the two sisters who were known to have a stable family life and people who would go looking for them. They knew they would be more likely to get caught and that they would not be able to manipulate and brainwash these girls. There were a team of private detectives searching for the sisters. It just so happened that the parents of Danielle’s boyfriend were both detectives. One of the detectives was shot by Officer Legarski and claimed to be “missing.” The remaining detectives, still after the missing girls, disobeyed the polices’ orders and did everything in their power to find them.
The girls coped by singing together. Not knowing whether or not they would be sold for sex, when their next meal would be or how much longer they would even be alive were all fears of theirs, only having the comfort of each other. The younger sister, Grace, was able to escape but was eventually found by Officer Legarski. She tried to escape further, but he shot her in the leg with an arrow. With no medical attention and no first aid, the girls also feared that Grace would have to lose her leg. This scene in particular was also a good indication of how some traffickers treat their victims. They do not view them as human beings, but as commodities. They view their victims as something to profit off of rather than human beings with their own potential to grow.
The show is very timely as human trafficking is a huge and rising issue; it is known to be the most hidden crime. Each episode of the series ends with the human trafficking hotline number displayed on the screen, and as of the second season, shows one of the actors speaking to their viewers explaining all of the resources they should use if they are aware of any instances of human trafficking.
The second season of the show returned on Jan. 26, and the series continues since the girls were found.
If you know anyone who may be a trafficking victim, please download the hotline at #1-888-3737-888, text HELP to BeFree (233733) or visit humantraffickinghotline.org. If you are interested in joining us in the fight against human trafficking, please consider volunteering with us, donating or sharing our social media posts.
Yours in the fight,