Advocacy for Survivors of Sex Trafficing
COMMERCIAL SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN // JULY 2018 NEWSLETTER
Getting Involved in the Anti-Trafficking Movement
Sex trafficking is complex and may be difficult to fully understand. It’s hard to fathom that people in our county are sold for sexual exploitation. You may feel stuck about what you can do to help the anti-trafficking movement, especially when the number of survivors is so staggering. This month, we hope you find a useful tip in this newsletter about how you can get involved in the anti-trafficking movement in our community.
Knowledge really is power! The more you understand what sex trafficking is, the better you’ll be prepared to recognize and report it. Our advocates offer free presentations to organizations, businesses, schools and churches that teach about the dynamics of sex trafficking, red flags, survival sex and much more. Reach out to us for more information!
Use Your Voice
Your voice is a perfect platform for interrupting problematic language. It’s not survivor-centered to say terms like “child prostitute” or “teenage prostitute” - these terms also imply that the survivor has a choice in what they are engaging in. By interrupting problematic language, you are starting critical conversations. It can feel uncomfortable to talk about sex trafficking, but these are necessary discussions to have if we expect change to happen.
Write letters to the editor of your local newspaper, and contact politicians! It is incredibly vital to encourage your state legislatures to continue to address sex trafficking by calling or emailing their offices. Don’t know who your representatives are? Get their contact information by following this link: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative. Politicians make important decisions, such as the recently passed FOSTA-SESTA act. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop_Enabling_Sex_Traffickers_Act
You can also get involved with the local Cowlitz County CSEC, (commercial sexual exploitation of children), Task Force! The task force consists of law enforcement, service providers, ministry leaders, and community members. Learn more by visiting their website: http://www.cowlitzcsectf.org/.
We got involved at the STRAPWA Conference!
This year, the National Sex Trafficking Conference was held in Tacoma, WA. The Sex Trafficking Response and Awareness Program, (STRAPWA), hosted this event, with the theme being Combating Sex Trafficking through a Multi-Disciplinary Approach.
We were so happy to attend this conference! We invited several partner agencies and school staff members with us and were able to connect with organizations in Washington State who have been doing excellent advocacy work with survivors.
Among the presenters were Leslie Briner, who is the National Trainer and Chief Social Strategist at Social Strategies. Leslie helped to create the Responding to the Sexual Exploitation of Youth toolkit that has been widely utilized across the country. Also presenting were Chad Opitz of the Beaverton, OR Police Department, a detective and task force officer on the FBI Child Exploitation Task Force and Val Richey, the King County Senior Deputy Prosecutor. We are grateful to be able to bring the information we learned back to Cowlitz County!
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Have you or someone you know ever traded sex for for a place to stay, food, money, drugs, etc.? You can speak with an advocate.
We welcome individuals of all ages and genders. Our services are free & confidential*. We can help you with staying safe and finding resources, and we can provide a safe and judgement free environment to talk about what you’re going through. We can also provide free safer sex kits, (condoms, the morning after pill, pregnancy tests, etc.). Contact Stacey at 360.703.3762 ext. 20 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Caleb at ext. 16 or email@example.com.
*We follow all mandatory reporting laws.
Want to learn more about how you can help?
Advocates are available to provide information about how to recognize common signs of sex trafficking and education to schools, businesses, organizations, churches, etc. to help you learn how to safely respond and report to police and/or the National Human Trafficking Hotline.
To request a free presentation, contact Stacey at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360.703.3762 ext. 20.
To report suspected trafficking or to get assistance, you can call the National Human Trafficking Hotline anytime of day at 1-888-373-7888 or text HELP to 233733.