Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Raises Awareness About Human Trafficking During this Year’s Founders Day Celebration

President Barack Obama recently declared January “National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month” and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. a private, non-profit organization with more than 250,000 predominantly Black college educated women and a history of social and political activism have joined the campaign to highlight the fastest-growing criminal industry in the world, human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of women and children.

The FBI has determined that Atlanta has one of the highest numbers of children being used for prostitution among American cities. Each month, more than 400 girls are commercially sexually exploited in Georgia – girls who are 12 and 14 years old.

For over 10 years Georgia judges, attorneys, legislators and community activists have been bringing attention to the growing issue of human trafficking and sexual exploitation in Atlanta. Former Atlanta Mayor and member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. highlighted this issue during her administration with the help of a consortium of law enforcement and community leaders that was lead by her staffer on women’s issues, Stephanie Davis. Davis conducted a study, “Hidden in Plan View: The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Girls in Atlanta” that is still widely used as a research source. That document and a 10-year review of child exploitation in Georgia that was done by the Interfaith Children’s Movement are attached.

The Atlanta Suburban Alumnae Chapter (ASAC) of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. is concentrating their efforts on increasing public awareness and prevention of domestic human trafficking. The ASAC chapter is sponsoring viewing parties for domestic trafficking documentaries and using social media to increase awareness about the horrors of sexual trafficking in our communities. In addition to the awareness campaign, the sorority is also educating young girls and teenagers in their mentoring group, Delta Gems, about recruitment and the dangers of the life of sexual trafficking victims. Research has confirmed that once out on the streets, one out of every three teens will be lured into prostitution within 48 hours of leaving home. With an increase in public awareness the sorority hopes to rethink the current paradigm so that a pimp will become known as a sex trafficker and a prostitute will become known as a sex trafficking victim or sexually exploited child.

Recently, it was announced that the Atlanta Police Department’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Squad and a Georgia nonprofit in Tyrone that helps women who have been forced into the sex industry would receive more than $240,000 to fight human trafficking from the recent four-day Passion 2012 conference. The conference sponsored by Alpharetta-based Passion Conferences and attended by over 40,000 young people focused on global human trafficking.

With the combined efforts of research, education, resources, and support, we hope to begin moving young girls away from exploitation to empowerment.

Nadine E. Gurley

Social Action Committee
Atlanta Suburban Alumnae Chapter
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

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