You see them while walking down the street. Or, while riding the train. Maybe you see them when you’re watching your favorite television show. Advertisements are everywhere, telling us what to wear, where to shop, or who should manage our investment portfolio. But, what if instead of informing our insecurities, they informed our conscience? CAASE is currently developing a poster campaign that would do just that— informing Chicago communities about one of the issues least discussed in our culture: sexual exploitation and human trafficking. These human rights injustices often go unnoticed because people are not informed nor are they aware of the significance of this problem. We aim to change that at CAASE by raising awareness through a variety of venues. Along with working on the eventual launch of a poster campaign, we are working on a theater production called “The Johns,” which addresses the issue of sexual exploitation from the demand side. The play is scheduled to begin its run in May of 2010 at The Viaduct Theater. The performance will be educational, informative, and powerful. Many people are working hard to make this performance a success. It is our hope that the production will impact the audience in a profound and inspiring way.
Coming from a small town in Connecticut, I lived 2 miles from the Paul and Lisa Program, which worked to help survivors of sexual exploitation. Even as I drove past the building everyday, I never knew that this was an organization that sought to help victims of human trafficking or that human trafficking was even an issue in my state. My ignorance about the human rights violations taking place in my own home town shocked me. I began volunteering with the Paul and Lisa Program and now feel an obligation to inform our communities about what they too can do to help victims of forced prostitution. I believe that it is a lack of knowledge and information that causes many people to fear this topic. Much like the Paul and Lisa Program, CAASE is passionately dedicated to working to educate communities about the monstrosities of human trafficking and sexual exploitation.
I provide this article as an example of one of the many, contributing factors that prevent people from stopping sexual exploitation and human trafficking:
The invisible victims of human trafficking, sexual exploitation
San Diego and Tijuana are facing a growing problem