The issue of sex trafficking is global and growing. Selling and exploiting underage girls for sex generates huge profits for sex traffickers because a young girl can be sold over and over for repeat profit. She can be forced, manipulated, and coerced into appearing to be an accomplice rather than a victim. These children often fall through the cracks of our juvenile justice and social service systems because their exploitation and trauma is often invisible, misidentified, and mis-classified.
It is often believed that these children have “chosen” a life of exploitation. There could be nothing further from the truth. Studies show that 80 percent of victims of prostitution suffered sexual abuse as children—often at home—which is why they fled to the streets. Once on the streets, sex offenders and sexual predators exploit these children’s desire for love, encouragement, and shelter, deceiving, intimidating, or forcing them into prostitution.
Prostitution is not a life for a child. It is a death sentence. The average life span of a child upon entering into prostitution is less than 7 years (Source: Melissa Farley, Founding Director of the Prostitution Research and Education). Unless someone intervenes, this vulnerable population will remain lost and alone.
The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act, in which the commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years.
The term “commercial sex act” is defined by the federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act as:
The giving or receiving of anything of value (money, drugs, shelter, food, clothes, etc.) to any person in exchange for a sex act.
Learn more about child sex trafficking in the United States by following the links below to Shared Hope International, an organization dedicated to the eradication of sex trafficking through legislation.
The In School Educational Program is Hoʻōla Nā Pua’s version of stranger danger for teens. The In School Education Program goes directly into local middle schools, high schools, and community youth programs to teach teens what domestic sex trafficking of minors is and how to recognize the signs before it happens to them or someone they know. The In School Education Program also addresses pornography and other cultural norms that are fueling the demand for underage girls and concludes with suggestions on how students can get involved to bring about change.
Age is the primary factor of vulnerability, and the signs of being targeted are not immediately recognizable to an unsuspecting teen. Through education, we can teach our children to recognize the signs before they are caught up in a very dangerous situation that is difficult to escape.
The In-School Education Program Curriculum is tailored specifically for a teenage audience. Classroom instruction consists of a 20 minute video called “Chosen,” a PowerPoint presentation, and a handout the student takes home with them.
1. “ Chosen”: Students first watch a video produced by Shared Hope International which was specifically designed for the classroom instruction of teenagers . Watch the Trailer:
2. In School EducationPowerPoint: Created by Hoʻōla Nā Pua and tailored to address local statistics and other Hawaii-specific information provided by Hoʻōla Nā Pua and other local anti-human trafficking organizations.
3. 5-10 minute question and answer period and a discussion on how to get involved in the community to promote awareness and inspire change.
4. Student handout includes key information, resources for more information and numbers to call for help.
Contact us today for more information or to schedule a In School Education Presentation.
“Ho`ōla Nā Pua, meaning ‘New Life for Our Children,’ was founded to shine light onto the dark criminal enterprise of sex trafficking, placing the health of Hawaii’s youth at the center of our mission and vision for our community.”