This project will educate and empower of the most vulnerable girls and boys in Florida to prevent them from becoming victims of child exploitation, child abuse and online predators. Our programs do more than educate about human trafficking, they saves lives by creating connection, decreasing isolation and interrupting the 'by stander' affect, empowering youth to take actions in disrupting the cycle of child trafficking.
Over the past year, online enticement and exploitation has risen dramatically. NCMEC reported a 98% increase of online enticement. This crime has reached pandemic levels around the world, currently there are 40 million women, children and men are enslaved around the world. 25% are children. Sadly the average age of entry is 10-13 and according to the Dept. of Justice, 40% of victims are children of color. The long term impact of this level of abuse is beyond comprehension.
Our training does more than educate, it empowers the youth to speak up if they see something suspicious or share a concern about another student. They know what to look for, learning grooming and recruitment tactics used to lure them in. Once educated the kids are empowered to take new actions. 38% of the students surveyed walked away from a potentially dangerous situation 34% of students surveyed shared a concern about another student a trusted adult 31% stopped talking to strangers online.
The long term impact is our children are more engaged in life. In fact, 60% of the student surveyed talked to their parents or friends about what they learned. The youth pay attention to the environment, those around them; learning to trust their instincts vs. being pulled in by media or social pressure. This program evokes empathy & connection. 21% of the middle schoolers surveyed had lunch with someone who mostly ate alone and stopped bullying others online. Those actions saved lives.