Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation (CAASE)

CAASE addresses the culture, institutions, and individuals that perpetrate, profit from, or support sexual exploitation. Our work includes prevention, policy reform, community engagement, and legal services.
Apr 4, 2016

Spring Update 2016

Progress Report on the Implementation of CAASE’s Prevention Curricula:

Empowering Young Men to End Sexual Exploitation and

Empowering Young Women to End Sexual Exploitation

 

March, 2016

 

As schools move toward the end of the academic year, the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation’s education team has been busy facilitating as many workshops as possible. With spring break approaching and summer following quickly after, educators have been eager to engage their students in conversation about sexual exploitation through partnerships with CAASE.

So far, in 2016 the prevention educators have:

  • Facilitated Empowering Young Men to End Sexual Exploitation with nearly 100 young men between the ages of 14 and 18;
  • Facilitated Empowering Young Women to End Sexual Exploitation with 106 young women between the ages of 14 and 18;
  • Scheduled EY programing for over 200 more students;
  • Presented workshops on topics such as sexual harassment, consent, and human trafficking to young people between the ages of 14 and 18 throughout the Chicago-land area;
  • Developed partnerships with 2 new school across Chicago; and
  • Launched our new SWEET college program – Students Working to End Exploitation and Trafficking.

Thank you for your support of our efforts.  Students who have completed the Empowering Youth to End Sexual Exploitation programs have described the programs as having “opened my eyes and brought more clarity along with awareness to this topic” and as inspiring them to “respect everyone regardless of their gender” and to “raise awareness through social media.”  Please continue to support CAASE’s prevention team as we continue to empower the young men and women of Chicago to make a difference.

Jan 7, 2016

A Look Back

January, 2016

As we look forward to 2016, let us take a moment to look back at what some students said during 2015.  At the end of each 4-session program, we provide students with the opportunity to reflect on what they have learned and why they believe it is important.  Here are a few highlights:

  • “I was surprised to learn that 80-90% of [people in prostitution] were sexually abused as children, and that most start with prostitution when they are still children.  This is important to think about because you don’t always know what someone in that situation is going through.  They are hurt and don’t want to be doing it any more than anyone else would want to.  From now on, I will not judge these people.”
  • “The harm to society is that women will continue to get raped and exploited; it makes me think of what could be done to stop this from happening.”  
  • “I learned that porn and strip clubs are linked with trafficking, so from now on I am not going to watch porn.  Ever.” 
  • “It’s not okay to watch and enjoy seeing women get exploited and disrespected.  Now I don’t take porn so lightly anymore.” 
  • “I can’t believe how big this problem is.  It makes me want to do something to stop it, because I wouldn’t want this happening to somebody close to me, and everybody is somebody.  From now on, I am not going to disrespect women because you never know what they are going through, and you don't want somebody calling your mom ‘slut’.”

As always, thank you for your continued support of our prevention education efforts.  It is only through your generosity that we are able to reach nearly 2,000 students last year and equip and empower them to stand as allies against sexual violence and exploitation.  As one young man said last year, “It’s really important to think about these things, and spread awareness about it.”  You helped him do that.

Sep 23, 2015

Fall Update

Fall Update

September, 2015

This week marked the beginning of another school year, and Chicago’s half-million students are back in their desks.  CAASE’s educators hope to build upon the success of last year and expand the total number of school partners from 20 to 25.  The team has already begun scheduling workshops with existing partners, and has had promising meetings with potential partners.  Adding five more schools to the list seems like a very attainable goal for the 2015-16 school year.

One of the greatest contributing factors to the ability to increase capacity has been the team’s increase in size.  This year the CAASE prevention team will have an additional educator, bringing the total to three.  The team is ready to get back in the classroom and attended some training over the summer to help prepare.  The Communities in Schools Chicago Summer Institute offered seminars on teaching in a trauma-informed manner.  Given the sensitive nature of topics covered in the Empowering Youth programs, this was incredibly helpful to the whole team.

In addition to reaching out to high schools, CAASE is excited to announce that it will also be launching a prevention education program on college campuses.  It’s going to be SWEET.  The program, Students Working to End Exploitation and Trafficking, will be unveiled later this fall, and CAASE’s educators hope to bring the SWEET program to at least three colleges in Chicago.

As always, thank you for your continued support of our prevention education efforts.  It is only through your generosity that we are able to reach thousands of students each year and equip and empower them to stand as allies against sexual violence and exploitation.  As one young man said last year, “It’s really important to think about these things, and spread awareness about it.”  You helped him do that.  Thank you.

 
   

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