SAN DIEGO (COUNTY NEWS CENTER) — A new awareness campaign that shines light on methods sex traffickers use to recruit victims launched this week in San Diego County.
The County’s District Attorney’s Office and Child Welfare Services are partnering with the anti-human trafficking organization, Abolitionist Mom, to help promote the public service ads. They will appear on billboards, poster boards, transit shelter displays and in radio public service announcements beginning this week as part of an education effort called Disrupt Sex Trafficking.
“The bottom line is teens and children are trafficked while attending school,” said Genice Jacobs of Abolitionist Mom and creator of the campaign. “Prevention, education and intervention programs are necessary to stop more children from becoming exploited.”
The Disrupt Sex Trafficking campaign is a series of ads that focus on the ways youth are recruited along with practical steps that can interrupt child exploitation.
The first ad, which is debuting this week, for example, reads: “Sex Traffickers Love Technology Too,” and depicts a teen using her phone. The goal is to highlight how exploiters befriend their victims on social media. Another poster, “Girlfriend for Sale,” focuses on how traffickers lure victims into false relationships and then coerce them into the sex trade.
“We need to make the public aware on how traffickers operate,” District Attorney Summer Stephan said. “Since January is human trafficking awareness month, this is a perfect opportunity to educate the parents about the many ways sex dealers approach our children, including through their mobile devices or at school.”
The campaign, which uses education and awareness to help disrupt child sex trafficking, is available to schools and educators.
“It is critical that as a community we understand the various ways that children are lured into the sex trade,” said Nick Macchione, director of the County Health and Human Services Agency. “We will be promoting this campaign to not only spark discussions about sex trafficking, but to inform parents and children about clear steps they can take to stay safe.”
Abolitionist Mom created the Disrupt Sex Trafficking campaign with input from trafficking survivor leaders and art direction by Garnet Creative. To see the ads and links to educational resources, visit AbolitionistMom.org. There, you can request high-resolution files of the campaign.
To report suspected human trafficking call the toll free hotline number 1-888-3737-888 or Text “Help” or “Info” to BeFree (233733). For more information visit the human trafficking page of the District Attorney’s public website.