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Change Through Education

Recently, I have been asked to offer a number of presentations about the work we do at Dawn’s Place—how we strive to provide a safe space for women victimized by Commercial Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and/or sex trafficking. During these talks, I share the services we provide and offer a glimpse into what life at Dawn’s Place looks like, while one or two of our graduates bravely share their stories of how Dawn’s Place has helped change their life’s trajectory. While I detail some statistics and facts about CSE, I am also privileged to hear our graduates speak of their challenging life experiences. As I listen to their accounts, I desperately wish that I had a better understanding of the impact this extreme human rights violation has on our society when I worked with children as an educator.

With the release of the new movie, Sound of Freedom, many people are now talking about sex trafficking, but it is important to note that it is incredibly difficult to secure accurate facts/statistics about CSE given the hidden nature of this crime. However, when I was an elementary school teacher and administrator, I wish I knew that:

  • The average age that young people are forced into a life of sexual exploitation is 11-12 years old;

  • Many victims are forced into this life by someone they know, including family members;

  • Many of the signs of CSE are similar to the signs of abuse, which educators are mandated to pay attention to and report, yet CSE and sex trafficking are not often included in that training;

  • Abusers, pimps, and johns frequently target and manipulate young people who are experiencing loneliness or feelings of isolation when they make empty yet dangerous promises of love, affection, and expensive gifts.

The facts listed above are edited from the Polaris Project, where anyone can find more information. Alternatively, if you are involved with a group that would like to know more about CSE and Dawn’s Place, you can book us for a presentation on our website.

Through our presentations and the therapeutic program we offer to our residents, we work to bring awareness to what we have learned about CSE and to help facilitate action in making systemic changes toward eradicating sex trafficking for future generations.

Change happens each and every day at Dawn’s Place, and through the generosity of our financial supporters, we can continue to create a safe space where our residents have the flexibility to plan new directions for their lives and the lives of their families.


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