This second post of a two part blog presents ideas for how you can prepare yourself, students, and their schools to fight sex trafficking.
Yellow buses are populating the streets again as children and teens are starting a new school year. Let’s make sure that they, their schools, and you are all armed and ready to defend against sex trafficking. Below are three action steps that lead to a lesson plan for prevention, rescue, and restoration.
Educate yourself: You are already on the right track here. You are reading this blog. Chances are you have explored Shared Hope’s website to learn more about sex trafficking in the United States and around the world. If you have not, then we encourage you to do so. There are plenty of resources to answer your questions on sex trafficking. Shared Hope also has a YouTube channel and a Vimeo channel that feature news clips, our DEMAND. Documentary, and much more. Shared Hope would also like to invite you to attend Sharing the Hope. This event will feature three riveting days of education and celebration. There you will learn from the nation’s top leaders on how you can take action to fight sex trafficking and save one life at a time.
Educate students: The previous blog urged you to talk to children and teens. You can find tips on how to talk to them about sexual abuse here. And, as was suggested before, you can use Chosen to open the door to discussions on sex trafficking. Young people will be impacted by the stories told in the documentary by two teenage girls who escaped the snares of commercial sexual exploitation. When you order Chosen, guides, discussion questions, and action ideas are included in your purchase. You can use these tools to organize a viewing in your church, community center, or even at your local middle school or high school. For those kids that are not yet pre-teens, be sure to broach the subject in an age appropriate manner. And do not forget to talk about solutions! If all we talk about is the darkness, then it can leave young people afraid and overwhelmed. Give them hope.
Educate teachers: The first line of defense against trafficking and sexual abuse is so often the educators, school staff, and volunteers that interact with children on nearly a daily basis. If your local district does not have a program in place that teaches these individuals how to spot and respond to signs of sex trafficking, then push for one. The Department of Education has recognized the need for school employees to be aware of this issue. They created this fact sheet to provide an overview of what trafficking is, how to identify potential victims, and what to do.
It takes an entire community to tackle this issue, to protect our children and teens from traffickers. We all need to work together to continue to save these precious lives.