Recently child sex trafficking survivor Holly Austin Smith spoke to a group of high school students about the connection between negative messages in the media and the exploitation of young girls.
The students were the first teens to be introduced to The Prevention Project curriculum, an anti-trafficking education project started by the Richmond Justice Initiative (RJI). The Richmond Justice Initiative is a grassroots, non-profit organization that began in 2009 “to educate, equip, and mobilize communities to be a force in the global movement to end human trafficking.” The mission of The Prevention Project is as follows: “We believe that in order to eradicate human trafficking, the selling of human beings for profit, we must educate young people on the lures of trafficking, and invest in character and leadership development; so we not only prevent sex trafficking from occurring, but create and equip leaders to bring a lasting change for our communities and beyond.”The 9-week academic curriculum for middle and high school students focuses on educating students on the issues of human trafficking locally and globally; developing healthy self-awareness and boundaries; strengthening character; and fostering leadership.
As a survivor advocate, Smith supports any legislation which will require awareness and training materials to be provided to schools on human trafficking. Educating the next generation is crucial to the prevention of commercial sexual exploitation of children, as well as all other forms of human trafficking happening within America and beyond.
Learn more at Holly Austin Smith’s Washington Times article: Local nonprofit creates anti-trafficking program for schools.