We are so happy to announce that yesterday's StolenYouth luncheon raised more than $820,000 to provide critical support for the anti-sex trafficking organizations within StolenYouth’s coalition. Over 800 people filled the grand ballroom of the Sheraton Seattle Hotel to hear keynote speaker and prostitution survivor Alisa Bernard, a force within the anti child sex trafficking movement. The StolenYouth coalition was formed to support commercially sexually exploited children through advocacy and fundraising.
Baby & Company is proud to support StolenYouth, which has built an army of women and men to fight child sex trafficking. While the organization has been making strides to bring awareness and to fight trafficking, much more is still to be done. To support StolenYouth, visit their site here to make a donation, or learn more about how to get involved.
Read more about the event on the Puget Sound Business Journal.
More about the issue, from StolenYouth's site—
Child sex trafficking doesn’t just happen on the other side of the world. Research suggests that there are over 500 kids on Seattle streets alone and the average age of these children is just 13 years old. The problem is growing, and the internet is making detection, protection, and prosecution even harder. StolenYouth champions the cause of the most victimized and vulnerable segment of our society – prostituted youth. And although commercial sexual abuse of a minor is a felony, these children are often treated like criminals. Most have a history of sexual abuse and come from foster care, or unstable living conditions, making them vulnerable to prostitution and coercion by pimps.
This is the human rights issue of our time and affects every state in America with at least 100,000 to as many as 300,000 children being commercially sexually exploited across the nation. By starting here in Seattle, StolenYouth is creating a successful working model that can be used to effectively address this growing problem in any city across the country.
Prostituted youth require safety, housing, and intensive specialized services to start the healing process and to have the opportunity to start a new life. This includes education, employment training, psychological counseling, medical care, and protection. Without intervention 77% of prostituted girls will go on to participate in adult prostitution. The death rate among prostituted adults is 40 times that of the national average of adult women. We must ensure that these youth are identified and receive these crucial services before it is too late.
StolenYouth raises funds that provided critical financial assistance to four highly-effective local organizations: YouthCare, The Center for Children & Youth Justice, Businesses Ending Slavery & Trafficking, and the Organization for Prostitution Survivors.