Did you know that January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month? On the final day of 2013 President Obama issued a proclamation that “called on every nation, every community, and every individual to fight human trafficking wherever it exists.”
In light of a recent report from the Polaris Project citing a 259% increase in calls to its national human trafficking hotline between 2008 and 2012, SheGives is committed to support efforts to combat sexual exploitation in the United States.
Massachusetts passed anti-trafficking legislation in 2011 aimed at protecting the victims of human trafficking. However according to published reports, in 2012 the majority of Suffolk County trafficking cases were dismissed or reduced. Experts cite inadequate resources and lack of knowledge about the law as reasons for low adherence. The Boston Globe reported that attitudes about prostitution being a “victimless crime” continue to hamper efforts to hold buyers accountable. My Life My Choice (MLMC) is focused on young girls across Massachusetts who are vulnerable to sex trafficking — disrupting the existing structure to prevent their entry, and aid to survivors of trafficking. MLMC is working with Attorney General Martha Coakley and law enforcement to lead the charge to educate about the truth around the sex trafficking of young girls in our state.
Founded in 2002, My Life My Choice’s mission is to stem the tide of commercial sexual exploitation of young girls by harnessing their strength, resilience, and outrage. The organization offers provider training, prevention groups, case coordination, and survivor mentoring to victims of exploitation. With an estimated 240,000 – 325,000 youth in the United States at risk for commercial sexual exploitation annually, SheGives knows how vital MLMC’s work is to the Greater Boston community and beyond. We chose MLMC for our slate because it is the only organization in Boston that focuses solely on adolescent girls being trafficked.
Advocacy is also an important part MLMC’s work. Both Director and Co-founder Lisa Goldblatt Grace and Associate Director Audrey Morrissey (pictured with Martha Coakley and Senate President Murray) serve on the MA Interagency Human Trafficking Policy Task Force, working with Martha Coakley and other organizations to end what the FBI calls a “problem that has grown to epidemic proportion.”