U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites always use a .gov or .mil domain. Before sharing sensitive information online, make sure you’re on a .gov or .mil site by inspecting your browser’s address (or “location”) bar.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

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.


Girls Education and Mentoring Service (GEMS) will address the commercial sexual exploitation of children problems through a systematic approach that will first strive to improve its crucial services to victims, capture knowledge effectively and utilize knowledge to train youth-serving professionals in New York. GEMS will strive to advance its present program practices of direct services to CSEC victims and training and support for institutions on CSEC through fostering improvements in service delivery, with an emphasis on documenting and refining successful prevention and intervention strategies with CSEC victims. Through quantifying and detailing the GEMS approach, GEMS will improve its services and help the CSEC victims we serve, by pinpointing the specific strategies that work. CA/NCF

Date Created: September 28, 2006