Several organizations are striving to spread the word about sex trafficking to teenagers around Atlanta and the surrounding areas.
Out of Darkness, a religious organization combating child sex trafficking, researches where girls are being sold and then targets those neighborhoods with a ministry of giving out roses and care to trafficked girls. Out of Darkness also runs a hotline for trafficked girls to call if they need help. Once the call is received, a rescue team will locate the girl and bring her back to their facilities to be provided care.
youthSpark is an organization that provides help for girls at risk for being trafficked. Many at-risk girls start in the juvenile justice system— either having been picked up by the police for offenses, such as truancy or drug-related charges, or by being victims of child abuse or sexual abuse. These girls are normally then referred to youthSpark for counseling with medically and psychologically trained adults and girls who have escaped the trafficking system.
Through youthSpark Voices, the girls are informed about how easy it is to be coerced by a pimp and then sold as a prostitute before they can even protest. They are then encouraged to go back to their parents and school. This program has reached 500 girls, ages 11 to 17 in the metro-Atlanta area.
The youthSpark Igniters is a program that helps educate girls on the importance of staying in school and remaining safe. Boys also are informed about respect for women and how their actions as a pimp or a buyer could deeply impact the lives of young girls forever. If interested, these students may be trained to become Igniters and are equipped to spread the word about this issue to their school and community.
Learn more at Tessa Szalkowski’s Youth Spark article: Atlanta Agencies Battle Child Sex Trafficking.