Today, adults and children are being bought and sold for sex in the United States. This is not isolated to any geographical location, race, or socioeconomic class, nor is this a new problem. Sex trafficking has existed in our country for generations and it is time to take necessary steps that protect victims from men who purchase sex illegally and traffickers who sell people for sex.
Georgia’s Attorney General, Sam Olens, created the nationwide ‘Not Buying It’ initiative in partnership with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Street Grace. The goal for this initiative is to encourage all 50 states to get involved in the ‘Not Buying It’ initiative so, together, in partnership with law enforcement, we can:
- Aggressively pursue and prosecute those who purchase sex illegally,
- Promote training for mandated reporters so they can effectively recognize, report and support victims of sex trafficking, and
- Encourage businesses and civic organizations to engage in the fight to end sex trafficking.
- It is crucial to public safety that law enforcement is appropriately trained to recognize perpetrators of sex trafficking in your community.
- Law enforcement trained to recognize and refer services to sex trafficking victims can effectively reduce crime in your community.
- Children in your community are more adequately protected when public school teachers and other mandatory reporters are trained to recognize and report potential child victims of sex trafficking.
- Businesses in your community can play a major role in decreasing sex trafficking incidences by reducing or eliminating occurrences that take place on their premises and among their employees and customers.
Street Grace has made a bold decision to begin developing real solutions to help those in direct contact with our most vulnerable children. Street Grace not only wants to make sure that no child falls through the cracks, but our goal is to eliminate those cracks all together. To that end, Street Grace will move forward to provide research-based solutions to educators, doctors, social workers, law enforcement, and other professionals working directly with children so they can recognize vulnerable children more effectively and provide appropriate services.
A 2014 national survey of child sex trafficking victims conducted by Thorn, in collaboration with Texas Christian University, found that 63% of victims had been sold online. A study published by youthSpark (2015) shows that while high-frequency buyers account for only 5% of all buyers they are responsible for nearly half (48%) of all transactions. This is why Street Grace is implementing methods to reduce the appeal for buying children online for sex. Over the next few months, Street Grace will be launching a confidential study to develop effective strategies to decrease anonymity within the online marketplace, thereby decreasing demand.
It is widely accepted by child welfare experts that for every incident of child abuse or neglect that’s reported, an estimated two incidents go unreported. It is believed that less than 10% of those victimized by child sexual abuse will ever tell anyone of their abuse (Townsend Rheingold, AA 2013).
It is imperative that adults who work with children are appropriately trained to recognize and report incidents of child abuse and neglect. In all states, adults who work with children or come into regular contact with children are known as ‘Mandated Reporters’ and are legally obligated to follow strict reporting protocols when they reasonably suspect abuse.
Street Grace has acquired the subject matter expertise and production capabilities to develop a resource video specific to your brand that will effectively train your organization’s mandated reporters to help recognize and report potential child abuse victims. Contact Street Grace, Inc. today for more information on implementing this resource in your organization: