Recognizing the Signs

It's back to school time for kids of all ages, and even if you aren't currently enrolled in classes, you can challenge yourself to be a lifelong learner.  When your knowledge expands, your world opens up for greater impact.

Did you know that the average age of entry into prostitution in Canada is 13? When we do the math, we are heartbroken to realize that to get that average, there are children as young as 8 or 10 being lured, forced, and coerced into the sex trade. 

Earlier this year, the A21 organization (based out of the US) launched their campaign “Can You See Me?” with videos depicting various forms of exploitation and trafficking. They created the slogan “Modern Day Slavery Exists - if you suspect it, report it" paired with a 1-800-THE-LOST phone line (The National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children). Media can grab our attention and stir up emotion, but what is most important is that we recognize the signs and take action.

*Trigger Alert, viewer discretion is advised. If you have ever been lured, groomed, coerced, abused or exploited in any way, watch with caution and care.

Education is key to setting the captives free

Sex trafficking is not just a global epidemic, it's a local one.  This month, our team is sharing on the topic of Recognizing the Signs along with the message of Why Our Work Matters. When we recognize the signs, we can speak up and take action to prevent further trauma and exploitation, and in some cases, save a life.  (Click here to read more about Recognizing the Signs)

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Watch HRC member Cassie briefly share the stages of exploitation within sex trafficking:

 Ultimately, our aim is to collaborate with parallel organizations and social service providers to serve our communities well. This includes engaging every single Canadian to become more educated on the topic, grow in empathy and take action where led.

Nobody deserves to be bought and sold as a commodity. YOUR voice and YOUR actions matter as it takes an entire community to shift a culture. We must stop normalizing the over-sexualization of children and turning a blind eye when we suspect foul play, no matter what the race, gender or age of the victim (child or adult). It's our responsibility to stand up for the vulnerable in our midst. You can make a difference!

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