The Peer Prevention Project is a youth-led program that prevents sexual exploitation/sex trafficking of youth in Toronto through awareness and education in schools, youth shelters, group homes, and online. Through education that examines the root causes of violence/exploitation (inequities of gender, race, socio-economic status, etc.) and information on healthy relationships, consent, internet safety and where to get help, this project prevents exploitation, keeps youth safe and saves lives.
Human trafficking for sex is one of the most extreme forms of gender-based violence and disproportionately affects women and girls. Canada is no different. Marginalized and racializedwomen and girls experience added layers of discrimination and barriers to support, as well as youth in care and youth with mental health issues. Indigenous, Black, and other racialized women and girls often lack social supports, leaving room for exploitation under the guise of love, community and a better life.
Aura Freedom's counter-trafficking work stresses the importance of empowering youth with knowledge to make safe and healthy decisions in their lives and reach out for support. Our work aims to prevent human trafficking by advancing equity. Addressing the root causes of GBV and human trafficking is a fundamental part of Aura Freedom's work. As an organization, we go deep. Why? Because if we do not address the root causes, then we will simply be doing damage control for the rest of our lives.
Gender-based violence is a very old story of who is valued more, and who is valued less. It thrives in conditions of inequity. The antidoteis education. Education is key. And although we might not be able to see it working in real time, it is RIGHT. Youth are agents of change. The ripple effects of inclusive and intersectional education for youth that addresses the root causes of violence/exploitation will be seen for generations to come. THAT is how we create systemic, long-lasting change.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).