Take Action Spread The Word

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Take Action Report the Problem

Women and children have been rescued as a result of concerned citizens reporting a problem.

Call Polaris Project’s Human Trafficking Hotline:

Take Action Check Your State

Shared Hope International state-grading system

Shared Hope International’s Protected Innocence Challenge is a comprehensive study on existing state laws designed to inspire and equip advocates. Under the Challenge, every state receives a Report Card that grades the state on 41 key legislative components that must be addressed in state’s laws in order to effectively respond to the crime of domestic minor sex trafficking. In addition, each state receives a complete analysis of this 41-component review and practical recommendations for improvement.

Take Action Help Vulnerable Youth

While statistics and horror stories about sex trafficking can seem overwhelming, we can’t let that stop us from reaching the lives of young vulnerable individuals.

Who are these vulnerable individuals? The profile of a minor caught in domestic sex trafficking might surprise you. They may live in at-risk areas, or they may be every-day young Americans. Rich, Poor, and Middle Class. Runaways and suburbanites alike. Abused and neglected, or maybe just overlooked and insecure. They have a common thread: a need for attention and authentic love. When these fundamental needs are not met, any youth can be vulnerable.
Pimps and traffickers are often doing “outreach” to youth in America. They prey on vulnerabilities in order to gain trust and lure children and adolescents into trafficking and prostitution. They might approach their prospects at high schools, malls, playgrounds, online, and other areas. Sometimes it’s as simple as being the first person in their lives to show the child or adolescent some type of affection. Other times it’s becoming their first boyfriend and telling them they’re beautiful. In a desperate situation, a pimp/trafficker may provide a roof over the young person’s head, provide food in their belly, and place clothes on their back- in exchange the minor has to “put out.” But there are situations where a youth may be living in middle class America, wooed by a pimp into a vicious cycle of commercial, sexual exploitation. So, how do we stop this? We need to be meeting the needs of our vulnerable youth before a trafficker has access to them. We need to provide personal mentoring and genuine friendship for those who live in broken homes or are in our foster care system. We need to be the first responders who provide safe housing when a child is entering the foster care system to prevent them from being abused within that system and groomed for trafficking or prostitution. Whether it be as simple as tutoring at your local high school or adopting a child in need—Everyone has a role to play in the solution.

Here are a few ways to help our youth:

  • 1
    Although statistics and numbers about sex trafficking may change, the individual need is the same: at-risk youth need a listening ear, a positive influence, and a loving community. We’ve compiled a small list of some trustworthy organizations to get involved with. These organizations may not expressly target sex trafficking, but by offering mentoring services they may interact regularly with victims. Fundamentally, they prevent sex trafficking by reaching at-risk youth before they become a victim.
    • National Mentoring Resource Center – A comprehensive review of some of the most popular mentoring programs; each review offers a rating on the level of success each program has shown.
    • Big Brother Big Sister – One of the foremost successful mentoring programs in the the U.S. “Provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.”
    • I Am That Girl – “Addressing the emotional, mental and physical well-being of girls. I Am That Girl is a 501(c)3 organization helping girls to transform self-doubt into self-love by providing a safe space to connect and have honest conversations about things that matter. Every day, girls are bombarded with messages that attack what she is NOT and we work every day to help her love who SHE IS; to see that in herself and inspire that in others”.
    • 4H Club – The nation’s largest positive youth development and youth mentoring organization, empowering six million young people in the U.S.
    • Young Life – A national, faith-based mentoring and community development organization for high schoolers of all backgrounds, including at-risk youth. “We believe in the power of presence. Kids’ lives are dramatically influenced when caring adults come alongside them, sharing God’s love with them. Because their Young Life leader believes in them, they begin to see that their lives have great worth, meaning and purpose.”
  • 2
    Engage with a local school or community center after-school program. Maybe you don’t have as much time to commit to mentorship or adoption, or maybe you feel like you aren’t qualified. Everyone can offer a skill to young person, including tutoring students to help them finish school. With many vulnerable youth never finishing high school, giving a child the opportunity to learn gives them tools for a future with options and hope. Search for schools and programs in your area today!
  • 3
    Many vulnerable youth slip through the cracks of our systems, or they may be exposed to further risk within the foster care system. There are many youth that will never qualify for a “safe-home” as a trafficking survivor, but they may still be caught in a cycle of exploitation. CASA creates a bridge between volunteers, the court systems, and vulnerable youth. Learn more about how you could volunteer with CASA! “The National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association, together with its state and local member programs, supports and promotes court-appointed volunteer advocacy so every abused or neglected child in the United States can be safe, have a permanent home and the opportunity to thrive.”
  • 4
    Be an “extended family” to vulnerable kids. Safe Families keeps kids out of harm before it happens and helps keep kids with their parents so they don’t have to go into the foster care system.
  • 5
    Nearly 265,000 children enter the U.S. foster care system annually. More quality foster parents are needed to step in, receive, and love these children. While there are many reliable foster care parents there is also much corruption and widespread abuse of children. These issues directly perpetuate the problem of trafficking and sets vulnerable youth up for disaster. Be a foster family to a young person today and help prevent sex trafficking. Learn more ›
  • 6
    • Adopt US Kids – Provides tools and technical assistance to support states, tribes, and territories in their efforts to connect children in foster care with families interested in adopting them.
    • Bethany Christian Service – “Our goal at Bethany Christian Services is to find loving and nurturing homes for children. Adoptive families give children the opportunity to become all God intends for them to be.”
    • Show Hope – Find many helpful resources and outlets to help orphans, help families adopt, and apply for a grant towards future adoptions.
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