Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Girls in the U.S.
Women’s funds have always been on the cutting-edge of social innovation, often times the first to create, support and promote the latest solutions to major social problems. The Atlanta Women’s Foundation, Minnesota Foundation for Women and New York Women’s Foundation, for example, are key partners and conveners of coalitions advancing public policy change and a system of care for sexually exploited girls in their communities.
Women’s Funding Network is partnering with women's funds across the United States as part of a national campaign to research, prevent and end domestic minor sex trafficking. The strategies are to:
- Collect quantitative data to demonstrate the scope and breadth of the issue and increase awareness;
- Map existing services for girl survivors of commercial sexual exploitation and scale up programs that rescue and restore girls positioning them for lives of positive outcomes;
- Change policies so that laws adequately penalize those who are the traffickers and customers; and finally,
- Create the societal climate of no tolerance for the prostitution of children.
Women’s Funding Network and its member funds will galvanize resources and the collective power of the Network to end the prostitution of girls in the United States. We are uniquely positioned to raise visibility of this issue, while bringing together philanthropists, public policy officials and community activists to insure that girls are provided a safety net of protection and an opportunity to live productive lives.
Women's Funding Network and U.S.-based women's funds are working to achieve the following:
- A Shift in Definition - a national, quantifiable number of girls being exploited;
- A Shift in Behavior – those charged with the care and protection of children (law enforcement, judicial, child welfare, educators, youth workers) consistently respond to exploited girls as victims;
- A Shift in Engagement – a ‘no tolerance’ culture which will decrease the demand for the prostitution of children;
- A Shift in Policy - Advocacy for the alignment of federal and state legislation with equitable victim services provided for girls who are U.S. citizens;
- Maintaining Past Gains - a system of care throughout the country for girls to recover and repair their lives.