When Emily Was Sold for Sex

Emily, a 15-year-old ninth-grader, ran away from home in early November, and her parents are sitting at their dining table, frightened and inconsolable.

The parents, Maria and Benjamin, both school-bus drivers, have been searching for their daughter all along and pushing the police to investigate. They gingerly confess their fears that Emily, a Latina, is being controlled by a pimp.

Read the full story at this link (NY Times)

Not So Super: It’s Time to go on Offense Against Sex Trafficking

Not So Super 2

Sex trafficking increases around big sporting events, which can be big pay days for pimps and traffickers.  In anticipation of Super Bowl weekend, NOW-NYC is joining #NotSoSuper, an attention-grabbing campaign to raise awareness about the real toll of human trafficking.

“To stand strong against sex trafficking at big events,
put on your game face.” #NotSoSuper

Take Action

Did you know the average age of entry into prostitution is about 13-years-old and 300,000 kids are at risk nationally for exploitation in the sex industry? Every day, thousands are affected by the sex trafficking industry. Sex trafficking doesn’t happen in a far-away land, it happens right here, right in our communities.

Go on the offense against sex trafficking. Here’s how.

1) Put on your game face. Put lipstick under your eyes to show everyone that sex trafficking is not OK. Upload the photo to Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, and tag it with #notsosuper. And tell your friends to do the same.

Sample tweets:

I’m going on the offensive against sex trafficking. Put lipstick under your eyes to let everyone know that you stand against trafficking. #notsosuper

Go on the offensive against sex trafficking. Put lipstick under your eyes, take a pic, and spread the word #notsosuper

2) Spread the word by sharing our poster art and posting to your Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook feeds. Visit:

www.facebook.com/pages/New-York-State-Anti-Trafficking-Coalition
https://twitter.com/NYS_ATC
https://twitter.com/NOW_NYC
https://twitter.com/sffny
https://www.facebook.com/SanctuaryforFamilies
https://twitter.com/equalitynow

3) Follow @caughtintraffik to see what it’s like living as a sex trafficking victim:

https://twitter.com/caughtintraffik

Every day another trafficking story. Help us END it! Check out @caughtintraffik inspired by @TheArtsEffect

4) Visit notsosuper.org to see a powerful short film and hear the stories of real sex trafficking survivors. Then, sign the petition and make a difference.

NYPD Arrests Nearly 200 for Trafficking Crimes Before Super Bowl

(CNN) — Nearly 200 arrests for sex trafficking and related crimes have been made in New York in operations leading up to Sunday’s Super Bowl, law enforcement officials say.

New York Police Department vice units trained in dealing with sex trafficking and prostitution have converged on certain parts of the city in the last two weeks, conducting both street busts and high-end, undercover call girl stings to try and curtail some of the sex trafficking business in anticipation of the Super Bowl.

The 200 arrests are in line with the number of arrests made in previous sweeps in New York, according to police Det. James Duffy.

For years, federal and local authorities have been concerned about increased prostitution around major sporting events such as the Super Bowl.

The NYPD and the Federal Bureau of Investigation say they’re dedicating more resources to the issue and have been working cases to target traffickers who victimize young women and men in the sex trade.

Most of the operation has focused on johns and sex traffickers. The police department has stressed that in most cases, they treat sex workers as victims.

Source: CNN

The Arts Effect Reveals Truth about Youth Domestic Trafficking

The Arts Effect All-Girl Theater Company was founded in 2007 by Katie Cappiello & Meg McInerney as a nurturing, empowering space for girls ages 8-18 to come together  and artistically explore their world.  Through a unique combination of intensive acting training, creative writing, debate and discussion, mentorship, and public service, members of The Arts Effect All-Girl Theater Company become change agents – utilizing the power of the theater arts to share their voices, challenge communities, and inspire their peers. The Arts Effect is dedicated to the development of original plays (including the critically-acclaimed KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN, FACEBOOK ME, and SLUT), community events, and  in-school workshops throughout the United Sates and across the globe.  The Arts Effect has reached thousands of young people worldwide in its mission to raise awareness and spark open and honest communication about the challenges girls face – from the over-sexualization of girls in culture to sex trafficking; from the intense presence of social media in girls’ lives to reproductive rights/girls’ health.  Katie Cappiello and Meg McInerney recently developed Project Impact, a leadership-through-storytelling theater arts program for youth sex trafficking survivors, and Generation FREE (devised in collaboration with The Somaly Mam Foundation, Equality Now, and NOW-NYC), an anti-trafficking activism and community-building workshop for NYC teens. The Arts Effect’s latest play A Day in the Life provided inspiration for the Not So Super campaign and is currently being performed throughout the tri-state area.  Katie and Meg were recently honored by The National Women’s Hall of Fame and Congress for their dedication and innovation, and are proud contributors to Not So Super.

Written by Katie Cappiello and featuring the activists of The Arts Effect, A Day in the Life, reveals the truth about youth domestic trafficking and the impact of “pimp and ho” culture on lives of girls. Journey into lives of four teens whose paths have been forever changed by commercial sexual exploitation: Nadia attends her school’s annual Pimps and Hoes party, Eve’s father is arrested for solicitation, Kaitlyn’s cousin has been on the streets for 4 years with no support from family, and Desiree prepares to celebrate her Sweet 16 after finally escaping the life. These powerful stories, inspired by real events, will give audiences an authentic look at the complex, often misunderstood reality of domestic sex trafficking and the ways it touches us all.

The talented 14-17 year old actors/activists of The Arts Effect All-Girl Theater Company are proud to be featured in the Not So Super campaign.  Thank you to Brittany Adebumola, Vikki Eugenis, Clare Frucht, Odley Jean, Darci Siegel, Danielle Stefania, and Alice Stewart.

www.TheArtsEffectNYC.com

@TheArtsEffect

Super Bowl Campaign: Hold Sex Buyers Accountable

On the eve of Sunday’s Big Game, the Anti-Trafficking Coalition has launched a campaign to educate the public about the epidemic of human trafficking and highlight the penalties for those who buy sex. The Super Bowl comes just one day a year, but sex trafficking is a 365-day a year problem.

Children are exploited across New York and nationwide; up to 300,000 kids are at risk everyday of being targeted by traffickers. It is the most hidden form of child abuse in our country.

Major sporting events like the Super Bowl with a large male-attendance will result in incidents of human trafficking. The demand created by the influx of men – men who may order women “for delivery” from backpage.com, who may go to massage parlors for timed sex sessions, etc. – is a demand that pimps are willing to step right up to meet.

The demand created by men looking for paid sex is so great that we have to import women and coerce American kids to take part – taking advantage of our most neglected, poor, run-away and already sexually abused kids.

Sex buyers need to be held accountable by all of us. We’ve turned a blind eye to the millions of adult men who create the demand because they believe they have the right to purchase another human being. Our great challenge as a society with human trafficking is to change attitudes and to stigmatize going “to a prostitute.” If we don’t stem the tide of demand for young girl’s bodies, that demand will continue to be met by coercion, violence, force and exploitation.

Buying Sex is Punishable in NJ:

A first conviction for soliciting prostitution could mean six months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines. For every subsequent offense, a conviction carries up to 18 months in prison and fines up to $10,000. Offenders could also lose their driver’s license and, if convicted, may need to register as a sex offender. Megan’s Law requires those convicted of specific sex crimes to register their personal information with their local community.

Feb 4: In Our Backyard – Domestic Sex Trafficking

Tuesday, February 4, 2014 | 7 – 8PM
FREE to attend | Registration required
Location: 42 West 44th St., NY, NY 10036

The Task Force for Women in the Courts Committee at the NYC Bar Association invites you to join a panel of distinguished experts leading the fight against sex trafficking for a conversation about the prevalence of domestic sex trafficking in the U.S. and in New York and the harm it causes.

Topics of discussion will include: An overview of domestic sex trafficking and the issues unique to New York; The latest policy and legislative efforts at the macro level; What’s being done to prevent domestic trafficking at the local level; What the legal community and the Bar at-large could be doing to help support the efforts to combat domestic sex trafficking; Real life stories from the experts; Tips on how to help educate others in our communities.

SPEAKERS

TAINA BIEN-AIMÉ Executive Director of the Women’s City Club of New York

JAYNE BIGELSEN Director of Anti-Human Trafficking Initiatives/External Affairs, Covenant House

LAUREN HERSCH Director, Equality Now

CAROL SMOLENSKI Executive Director, End Child Prostitution And Trafficking-USA

MODERATOR

DORCHEN A. LEIDHOLDT Director, Center for Battered Women’s Legal Services, Sanctuary for Families
___________________________________________

SPONSORING COMMITTEES

Women in the Courts Task Force
Rebecca Berkebile, Chair

Committee on Juvenile Justice
Lynn Leopold, Chair

Committee on Sex and the Law
Pamela Zimmerman, Chair

Committee on Criminal Justice Operations
Risa Gerson, Chair

Committee on LGBT Rights
Jordan Backman, Chair

Cuomo signs law to help more sex-trafficking victims

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill into law January 10, 2014 that will afford 16- and 17-year-old victims of sex-trafficking the same protection as those currently given to younger victims.

The law is designed to prevent the re-victimization of children by providing them with services instead of jail time.

Amy Paulin, D-Scarsdale, who co-sponsored the bill with Sen. Andrew Lanza, R-Staten Island, said she was “ecstatic” over the new law.

“It’s a landmark legislation that will help young women who are confronting sexual exploitation. They will be treated as victims as they should be and get the help they need to go on with their lives,” Paulin said. “It is unacceptable that they should be arrested for prostitution and tried in criminal court.”

Read more on LoHud.com

Cuomo: Fund Services for Trafficking Victims

Governor Cuomo just signed a law that will ensure 16 and 17 year-old sex-trafficking victims are provided social services instead of jail time. Advocates have worked tirelessly for this new law, which will help sex trafficking victims get the services they need to get on with their lives.

Now, we must ensure there is funding behind this law so these services can be implemented. To receive this funding, it MUST be included in the Governor’s Executive budget, which will be released within the next two weeks.

Take Action!

Sign this petition from Covenant House, a service provider for trafficking victims

Tweet: Thank you @NYGovCuomo for signing #SafeHarborAct Please include funding for trafficking victim services in Executive Budget!

Thank you Assembly member @AmyPaulin for supporting sex trafficking victim services #SafeHarborAct

Teen trafficking victims will now get help instead of jail time, but only with $ from the state. Sign the petition: http://chn.ge/1eFeydT