Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery where a perpetrator profits from the sexual exploitation and/or forced labor of a person by means including force, fraud, coercion, or deceit to engage in commercial sexual activity such as prostitution, exotic dancing, or pornography.
San Diego is one of the top 13 cities in the US for human trafficking, a hub for 3000 - 8,000 victims annually. Most victims are between 11-18 years old and often don't even see themselves as victims, because they've never been shown anything better. 26% of victims are children (under 18), 55% of victims are women and girls, and 68% of victims are in forced labor.
We, a team of 30 young professionals in San Diego, have passionately united to Fight Human Trafficking for our community service project. We have 2 weeks to create something HUGE. We are committed out of our minds to create MASSIVE impact. Our focus is providing awareness, resources, and aid to victims and survivors of Human Trafficking.
There are effective measures to combat the heinous injustice that is human trafficking. We have identified several organizations on the West Coast to support with an emphasis on Awareness, Prevention, Restoration, and Advocacy. You can read more about each organization and how the money will be used below.
Our goal is to raise at least $250,000 to these organizations that are directly involved in helping victims and survivors across the West Coast. There is no better time than NOW to take action!
- Sex trafficking is San Diego’s 2nd largest underground economy after drug trafficking. The underground sex economy represents an estimated $810 million in annual revenue.
- Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego are 3 of the FBI’s 13 highest child sex trafficking areas in the nation.
- Approximately 27-30 million people around the world are in some form of slavery.
- Each year about 17,500 individuals are brought into the United States and held against their will as victims of human trafficking. Conservative estimates say that 15,000 people are trafficked into the U.S. annually, while others guess the number is as high at 60,000.
Please help us support these organizations in San Diego, Los Angeles, and Seattle:
The STARS program at San Diego Youth Services (Surviving Together, Achieving and Reaching for Success) provides a program for teen girls and women between the ages of 12-24 involved with commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking to empower the youth to escape sexual exploitation by developing their inner strengths, building a sense of community and supporting their reintegration into mainstream society. Services include intensive case management, detention outreach, support groups, recreational activities, therapy and community trainings. SDYS STARS has been providing services in the community for over 8 years and over the last year served 91 girls and young women.
Donations would be utilized to enhance our therapeutic services and move towards our capacity. The trauma associated with domestic sex trafficking often leads to chronic traumatic stress, low self-esteem and self-worth, and self-harm behaviors. Therapeutic services aim at supporting Survivors as they heal and gain empowerment to regain control over their future through a whole person approach that includes intensive therapy, expressive art, healthy eating, yoga, and self-care activities.
Generate Hope in San Diego provides a long-term, comprehensive, housing and recovery program to young women who have been sexually trafficked, so that they are able to reintegrate into society and walk powerfully into their future. Generate Hope currently provides the only integrated shelter and rehabilitation program in San Diego specifically serving victims of sex trafficking. It is a home where survivors experience healing in a caring and non-judgmental environment. The funds raised for Generate Hope will be used in the new home to care for children. Children who have been sexually exploited have experienced intense complex trauma and need very specific care from experts who are prepared to love them through their pain. Generate Hope will provide a safe, comfortable, family environment where the girls can be restored in mind, body and spirit. Specialized CSEC therapy will be constantly available in the home as the trauma these girls have endured often leads to extreme post-traumatic stress and nightmares.
To ensure each girls can move forward into a new future, dedicated caseworkers will help each girl with a tailored life plan that supports dreams and goals she could never have previously conceptualized. The focus of each plan is always on the needs of the individual.
Saving Innocence in Los Angeles partners with local law enforcement to provide crisis response, rescue services, and immediate aftercare to child victims of domestic minor sex trafficking and provides long-term advocacy, case management, and mentoring relationships to survivors of exploitation by promoting worth and restoring innocence. The funds raised will focus on the direct, tangible needs of our clients. Specifically, we have two girls moving into their very first own apartments next week and we want to help them with their basic needs to get set up. This fundraiser will go a long way in getting them started.
Talk It Up TV in Seattle - is working on an episode to promote awareness of human trafficking and what can be done to help end this. The episode features a single mother whose daughter was trafficked at the age of 16. Funds raised will go directly toward helping his family recover.
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you so much for donating to this cause!!
- Ascension Leadership Academy - San Diego 1
To report suspected cases of human trafficking, the national hotline number is (888) 373-7888.
Video used with permission.