Juvenile Urban Sex Trafficking: #17Ps by Sherri Jefferson
On September 13, 2016 the #17Ps to Ending Juvenile Urban Sex Trafficking will be promoted by the African American Juvenile Justice Project, #FemaleNotFEEmale and Attorney Sherri Jefferson in collaboration with 27 Million Voices (Canada), Project No Rest of the University of North Carolina, Sheryl McCollum of the Cold Case Investigative Research Institute and a host of other international and national participants. Attorney Sherri Jefferson will convene the first ever collaborative social media event to use Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to draw awareness to end juvenile urban sex trafficking.
Program participants will represent London, Canada, Jamaica and the United States. The timing of the event seems to come as the rest of America prepares for Back to School. Many victims of juvenile urban sex trafficking are lured during the school year. The mobilization of this event will assist parents, communities, and program and service providers to support the campaign to end juvenile urban sex trafficking.
What is 17Ps? The African American Juvenile Justice Project and #FemaleNotFEEmale 17Ps program is premised upon the Pimp, Panderer, Prostitute, Purchaser, Profiteer, Parent, Pastor, Principal, Police, Prosecutor, Prison, Physician, Psychologist, Psychiatrist, Pharmaceutical, Press, and Politicians in ending juvenile urban sex trafficking.
17Ps to Ending Juvenile Urban Sex Trafficking will be an informative, innovative, and inspiring conversation about ending juvenile urban sex trafficking. The event will answer pressing questions like what is urban sex trafficking? How does a child become a victim of prostitution? Why are children in America prosecuted and incarcerated as juvenile prostitutes? How do adolescent males (or females) become a pimp? What can parents do to break the cycle of modern day slavery? What is the role of the “Press” in writing the narrative to end juvenile urban sex trafficking? What is the role of the 6Ps to ending juvenile urban sex trafficking?
The Missing Voices
The mission of this event is slated to educate, engage, and empower participants to understand juvenile urban sex trafficking. The African American Juvenile Justice Project, #FemaleNOTFeemale and Attorney Sherri Jefferson defines “Urban Trafficking” in America as a concept of approaching the experiences of victims of sex trafficking within urban, suburban, and rural corridors whose pimps, purchasers and profiteers rely upon and take advantage of metropolitan areas (urban centers) to traffick women and children.
AAJJP defines ‘child’ as all persons under the age of 21 for purposes of our child sex trafficking services. Ages 10 – 18 are adversely impacted by the victimization of trafficking. However, girls aged 18 – 21 are generally trapped in the “life” and are part of the school pipeline (high school and college).” Jefferson states that “All 17Ps are an intricate part of the conversation to end juvenile urban sex trafficking. Respectfully, the collateral consequences of urban sex trafficking continue to adversely impact African-American girls who represent 61% of all girls in the U.S. arrested for juvenile prostitution. These girls are denied mental health services, HIV/AIDS and STD screening, pregnancy testing, and educational and preventive services, to name a few. We seek to create safe houses not jail houses and for the enactment of a Fair Criminal Records Reporting Act, which like the Fair Credit Reporting Act, will delete criminal records of juveniles charged as prostitutes and their related offenses.” We must abolish the criminalization of victims of juvenile urban sex trafficking and abolish legislation declaring children as prostitutes
For the last decade, America has emphasized international and domestic “human trafficking” with details to labor and sexual victimization of women and children from Asia, India, and Russia. Urban trafficking victims are born within the United States; many are from urban corridors that rely upon solicitation of girls from surrounding areas to urban centers. The majority of the victims of urban sex trafficking are girls under the age of 18 and who are African-American and non-white Hispanic/Latinas. Overall, sex trafficking in America impacts women and girls of other races, ethnicities and origins, especially Native American girls. 27 Million Voices will deliver a broad message to encompass domestic and international sex trafficking of youth and how Canada is addressing urban sex trafficking. Project No Rest will deliver insightful information about the plights of all girls, with detailed information about Native American girls. Victims of urban sex trafficking are often pimped/sold by African-American or black males and their Johns (aka rapist – men having sex with non-consenting and underage girls) are generally white males.
Dispel Myths About African American Girls and Sex Trafficking
#17Ps will discuss the adverse impact of urban sex trafficking in America and how African American girls under the age of 18 continue to suffer from arrest, lack of health care, and mental, emotional, and psychological services while organizations focus upon victims of international human and sex trafficking. #17Ps will dispel myths about why African-American girls are victims of sex trafficking. Some nationally recognized advocates proclaim that “African American girls are disporportionately at risk” and are “more likely to experience the risk factors of” being victims of sex trafficking because “they have a history of sexual and physical abuse,” “poverty,” “being female,” “being runaway and homeless” and a “history of child protective services and dislocation.” However, these myths are not supported by facts. Furthermore, these myths shift the blame for sex trafficking to the victim and their families.
According to research conducted by “Child Welfare” - the child welfare information gateway of America - African Americans represent 14% of the US population, but 31% of children in foster care or child protective services; Whites represent 56% of the US population, but 40% of children in foster care or child protective services. Latinos/Hispanics represent 22% of the US population and 20% of children in foster care and child protective services. AAJJP notes that African American children are not more likely to be victims of sexual and physical abuse in their homes. Rather, they are more likely to be denied wrap around services for mental, physical and psychological abuse. They are more likely to be displaced from their home because of arbitrary, capricious, and discriminatory enforcement of laws.
According to research conducted by Columbia University’s National Center for Children in Poverty, “By race, white children make up the biggest percentage of America’s poor.” Furthermore, according to the Census bureau data, white children represent the largest segment of poor children in America. Therefore, this dispels the myths reported in a July 2016 “fact sheet” by a national girl’ advocacy group, which suggest that African American girls are more likely to be victims of sex trafficking due to poverty. Notwithstanding, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, more white children are labeled as “runaway” than African American. However, according to a story devoted to this subject matter by Rani Molla of the Wall Street Journal, black children under 18 years of age represented about 25% of the missing children in America compared to white children who represent almost 40% of the missing children in America. She relied upon FBI data.
AAJJP notes that colored children are less likely to be reported missing, covered by mainstream media when they are missing, and are less likely to attain police investigative services for recovery. For such reasons, we rely upon the expertise of Sheryl McCollum of the Cold Case Investigative Research Institute to share with program participants the role of police and their investigative services and what parents, schools, and communities can do to end juvenile urban sex trafficking by identifying missing children and teaching methods of police intervention. She will also share her expertise about investigations that communities may conduct to recover children. AAJJP notes that white communities are more pro-active in addressing the plights of their missing children (using social media, door-to-door campaigning, securing community input and services – T-Shirts, posters and signs, etc.).
Facts dispels myths that justifies the victimization of African American children in sex trafficking in America. To our point, the excuses for justifying the victimization of African American girls through sex trafficking must end. By ending falsifications, we can properly identify victims and develop and deliver services.
Bringing Clarity to the Blurred Colored Lines
#17Ps to Ending Juvenile Urban Sex Trafficking will bring clarity to the blurred colored lines. Respectfully, to dismantle urban sex trafficking we must identify the victims. In recent years, the plights of African American girls have been masked as the victimization of ‘girls of color.’ This premise focuses upon girls from India, Arab nations and Asia, with little emphasis on the plights of African American girls. Respectfully, sex trafficking is devastating for any child. However, to end juvenile urban sex trafficking, we must insist that the victims be properly identified so that programs and services can be developed and delivered. Why African American girls? They represent the largest segment of victims of sex trafficking subject to the prison pipeline, denial of services and risk of death.
The plights of African American girls and black girls across the globe has gotten lost in the conversation. Respectfully, the plights of girls of color differ significantly from the plights of colored girls. Girls of color are not victims of the school to prison pipeline; they are not likely to be displaced from home, school, and community through social services and court intervention; they are not likely to be forced out of school via disciplinary measures; and they are not likely to be from single parent households. These groups do not struggle with the same issues of teen pregnancy and abortions. Furthermore, they are not likely to face the challenges associated with the mass incarceration of custodial and noncustodial parents.
Notwithstanding, while some “girls of color” are victims of domestic sex trafficking, they are less likely than African-American girls to be subject to arrest, detention and the challenges of the collateral consequences associated with these factors. According to the FBI’s most recent data, African-American girls under the age of 18 represent 61% of the girls arrested as juvenile prostitutes. Many of these girls are perceived as voluntary participants to prostitution and as hyper-sexualized beings and not as victims. The rate of arrest has continued to increase while NGOs’ and government purport advancement. Yes, there exist advancement and positive changes for ‘girls of color.’ However, the changes and advancements are not reflective of colored girls - African-American girls.
The Role of the Press
Recently, there has been an outcry by some advocates to end the use of the term “child prostitute.” Recently, the Associated Press has agreed to cease use of the term. AAJJP notes the challenges facing journalist and media in addressing this issue. However, through our lens, AAJJP stands on the premise that, but for the use of the term ‘child prostitute,’ mainstream America would have no idea about the plights of victims of sex trafficking. Through our lens, we stand upon the premise that the media has caused more good than harm through the use of the term. Now, we fear that ending its use will remove the focus of the severity of the problem of child prostitution in America and across the globe. The term ‘child prostitute’ causes engagement, raises awareness of its truth, and forces people to search for answers to end sex trafficking of children.
How will juvenile victims of child prostitution be identified? How will the media tell the story of their plights? Yes. Some are victims of the “sexual abuse to prison pipeline,” but not all. The press did not define the term ‘child prostitute.’ Politicians in America have enacted legislation that criminalizes children under the age of 18 as prostitutes; Prosecutors charge children as prostitutes; Police enforce the law by arresting child prostitutes; and, Prisons incarcerate children as prostitutes. AAJJP stands upon the premise that the press is not the creator of the term ‘child prostitute.’ Rather, they are the narrators of the story. To that degree, AAJJP calls upon mainstream and urban media, and professional bloggers to use their tools to share the story to end juvenile urban sex trafficking by engaging, educating, and empowering viewers, listeners and followers to push for legislative reform and the abolishment of criminalizing children as prostitutes. Its starts and ends with the politicians.
Anyone of the 17Ps seeking to share information about ending juvenile urban sex trafficking is welcomed to upload post, tweets, and videos between now and September 10, 2016 to Twitter, IG, and Facebook using hashtags #17Ps and #FemaleNotFEEmale. Post should empower, educate, and engage. Use video caption: #17Ps to Ending Juvenile Urban Sex Trafficking. Participants should state their name and/or agency. Videos should be limited to 2 minutes.
On September 13, 2016: Awareness and Educating. The groups will engage social media platforms in a “Storm,” which will educate participants with posts and tweets about juvenile urban sex trafficking;
On September 14, 2016: Advocacy and Engaging. The groups will host a social media Chat, that will engage participants in Q & A and provide resources for help; and,
On September 15, 2016: Activity and Empowering. The groups will engage in a Webinar discussion and video uploads to empower participants to end juvenile urban sex trafficking.
This story was initially posted on WorldNews.com http://u.wn.com/2016/08/29/Urban_Sex_Trafficking_17Ps_to_Ending_Juvenile_Urban_Sex_Traf/
About The African American Juvenile Justice Project and Attorney Sherri Jefferson
Sherri Jefferson is an author, attorney, advocate, and lecturer. She is also the founder of the Family Law Center, Jefferson Publishing, African American Juvenile Justice Project, which is a free, pro bono project offered by Attorney Sherri Jefferson, and the Law Mobile. Through #FemaleNOTFeemale, she advocates against child sexual exploitation and sex slavery, and the collateral consequences associated with criminalizing the acts of the victims of human trafficking and prostitution.
To learn more about Sherri Jefferson, visit www.SherriJefferson.com.
Contact Information: firstname.lastname@example.org