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Public Awareness and Education on Commercial Sexual Exploitation

Award Information

Award #
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2006, $100,000)

The commercial sexual exploitation of children in the U.S is 'the most hidden form of child abuse.'(Estes, 2001). GEMS believes that individual prevention, change and healing is not enough, but that systemic and societal change is vital to eradicate the commercial sexual exploitation of youth. One of the most challenging factors in GEMS work is the lack of public acknowledgement of the issue of sexual exploitation and specifically the public perception, and misconceptions, of sexually exploited youth. Changing public perception is vital to affecting change in the lives of at risk young women in New York City. Therefore, with support from OJJDP, GEMS will conduct the 'Break the Silence' public awareness campaign to raise consciousness in New York on the issue of commercial sexual exploitation. This project will increase community awareness of sexual exploitation and change public perception of victims; increase youth awareness of sexual exploitation and increase youth leadership and advocacy against sexual exploitation through a multi-faceted campaign.


Date Created: September 28, 2006