Title

Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children – Awareness and Prevention

Location

Vernon

Strand #1

Mental & Physical Health

Strand #2

Safety & Violence Prevention

Relevance

Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children impacts the mental and physical health of youth in numerous ways, including poor physical health (due to lack of appropriate medical care, numerous STDs, etc,) in addition to increased crime within schools and neighborhoods due to the criminal factors associated with those who choose to exploit youth. Through awareness and prevention, youth can be empowered to make educated decisions, which can help improve their mental and physical health, as well as enable them to work with adults in their lives to create safer communities in their schools and neighborhoods.

Brief Program Description

This presentation will educate adults and youth on what Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children looks like, how to prevent it from happening, and ways for adults and youth to engage in conversations on the topic.

Summary

Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children crosses all socio-economic borders and affects all types of communities across the United States. Educating youth and adults on how our culture can perpetuate negative stereotypes, as well as understanding how exploitation may happen, can be an effective tool for preventing exploitation, which in turn creates safer spaces for our youth in schools and communities. Currently research is limited on working with sexually exploited youth, but by providing resources, awareness, and education on the topic, youth can become empowered to make educated decisions about their life. Engaging youth in a conversation about exploitation equips them to feel more confident in recognizing unhealthy relationships in their own lives and the lives of their friends. The audience will participate in guided discussion about perception of those identified as victims and exploiters and dispel myths and stereotypes. Numerous prevention education resources will be discussed, however presenters will screen the film Chosen – an awareness tool created by Shared Hope International. In addition to watching interviews of survivors of exploitation, the presenters will engage the audience about how they can become part of the solution in increasing safety in all aspects of their lives – emotionally, physically, and within their schools and communities.

Evidence

Due to Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children being recently recognized as a social justice issue in this country, there is little research on identified best practice for treatment. However, evidence supports that prevention correlates with a decreased cost of treatment as well as a decrease in criminal activity which, in turn, promotes safety and improved mental and physical health of youth and adults.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Casi Knowles is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and works with Devereux as the DELTA Clinical Coordinator. The DELTA Treatment Track is the identified treatment program throughout the Devereux continuum of care for victims/survivors of Commercial Sexual Exploitation. Prior to moving to Florida in 2013, Casi lived in the Atlanta, Georgia area where she worked with children in foster care for nine years. For four years Casi provided administrative oversight to a safe home for Commercially Sexually Exploited Children with Georgia Baptist Children’s Homes.

Erin Wirsing, MSW is the Program Manager for the DELTA Program which is the identified treatment track throughout the Devereux continuum of care for victims/survivors of Commercial Sexual Exploitation. Erin has extensive knowledge in serving exploited youth and adults, working with the Salvation Army and the STOP-IT Program in Chicago, Illinois for approximately 6 years before moving to Florida. Erin has experience in case coordination, advocacy, outreach, consultation, program development, and training.

Keyword Descriptors

Sexual Exploitation, Human Trafficking, Education, Prevention

Presentation Year

2016

Start Date

3-8-2016 8:30 AM

End Date

3-8-2016 9:45 AM

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Mar 8th, 8:30 AM Mar 8th, 9:45 AM

Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children – Awareness and Prevention

Vernon

This presentation will educate adults and youth on what Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children looks like, how to prevent it from happening, and ways for adults and youth to engage in conversations on the topic.