Thank you for taking part in our August #BeTheKey campaign, aimed at bringing further awareness to the issue of domestic sex trafficking by sharing the findings of the Free Our Girls 2015 Observational Study of Social Media Accounts. Again, this study included over 300 women currently involved in the sex industry, with a majority of them actively being exploited by a trafficker or pimp. Our goal was to help shed further light on this population so that our advocates against sexual exploitation can take this information with them as they move forward in their lives to combat this issue within their communities and circles of impact.
Sex trafficking affects every community, and anyone with a void or vulnerability is at-risk for exploitation. As long as we continue to think that sex trafficking happens “somewhere else” it will continue to happen in our schools and neighborhoods, and to Our Girls.
In a report recently published by the University of Southern California, recommended future actions for preventing and responding to human trafficking that occurs online and through social media include:
- Allocating resources for further research related to sex trafficking in domestic contexts
- Enabling local agencies to develop technological capabilities to monitor trafficking online and to share information among organizations
- Creating more innovative solutions for detecting and disrupting human trafficking online and assuming a more proactive role in advancing research in this area
- Using technology to connect with and empower victims and vulnerable populations, while also addressing their economic, social, psychological, and physical needs
- Improving the collection of data on trafficking and the sharing of information resources
Free Our Girls plans to continue our personalized engagement with the women we are connected with through social media, in the hopes of (1) building relationships based on trust, love and acceptance, (2) planting seeds to challenge their often skewed concepts of reality, and (3) being available and ready to provide the resources, information and help these women need to decrease their vulnerability and increase their stability to the point that they are able to leave both their trafficker and the commercial sex industry for good.
If you are interested in partnering with Free Our Girls in a tangible way, please consider supporting our organization as we continue our work in online communities with women currently in the sex industry. At this point in time, we currently provide (1) positive words of encouragement – no strings attached!, (2) thought-provoking conversational material designed to challenge current thought patterns, and (3) periodic newsletters on topics of interest including finances, legal issues, children, healthy relationships and many more. Free Our Girls would like to not only improve our existing online engagement program, but expand it to include a website with additional information and resources. You can visit our website here to begin supporting this vital and successful program today!