The billboard to the right is a recruitment billboard addressed to young people to enter the commercial sex industry. While it is legal to be a stripper if you are 18 or older, stripping is often the "gateway" to becoming a victim of human trafficking. Young people are being bombarded with messaging that normalizes the commercial sex industry with some teen publications claiming that prostitution is "empowering work." The pimps/human sex traffickers are online daily trolling the internet trying to find victims by making prostitution look glamorous. Popular music makes prostitution look cool. So how do we compete? We (meaning all of us) actively need to launch our own social media/billboard campaign. This page is an invitation for every task force, church, service club, etc. to take this on.
Groups like the EPIC Project placed ads in Backpage. When buyers called in, they got a Christian man. After talking to over 100,000 buyers, what the EPIC Project found is that a surprisingly few understood that the prostituted person could be a victim of human trafficking. Some were indifferent. Many were troubled, especially men who had daughters. For the most part, if a buyer of sex has heard of human sex trafficking they assumed that if the man/boy/woman/girl they were with was truly a victim, they would walk in and start crying, begging to be rescued. So we need to raise awareness as to the fact that the majority of prostituted persons are victims of human trafficking and they can't tell the buyer that. Below is a poster with messaging that one could use to create a billboard that addresses this. Buyers fear arrest and they especially fear being found out by their coworkers, family, wife, friends etc. so the bill boards above do work to deter buyers of sex. However that deterrence is short term. Knowing they are causing harm is a long term solution that has had many buyers stop buying sex. and brought more people to the fight against human trafficking.
Billboard campaigns are fairly inexpensive and they reach hundreds of thousands or millions of people. In Los Angeles which is a fairly expensive market, an 11 ft by 6 ft billboard on an urban street that reaches almost 200,000 cars in a month, cost as little as $300 with a minimum order of $3,000. Freeway signs that reach millions cost @$10,000. Below are examples of posters that in addition to the ones above, you could create a billboard out of with similar messaging. Please do send us social media and posters that you have created and we will post it either here or on our Facebook page. While it is doubtful that sex buyers will "google" human trafficking, one can't avoid reading a billboard or a social media post. If you would like to start your own billboard movement, you are welcome to edit our brochure and by putting your name and billboard pricing for your area. For billboards regarding arrest, law enforcement needs to put those up, but you can raise money for them.
When the public sees signs that state something to the effect of "Human Trafficking Happens Here," the common responses was…. “you mean like a dishwasher who is forced to work 24/7 or some prostitutes or foreign-born massage workers, etc. Almost no one understood the size of the problem! Once people had a sense of the size of the problem and understood that this wasn't just a "foreign problem," they became motivated to act which is the purpose of the poster to the left which can be downloaded here.
The Poster to the right, educates the public that the majority of men/women/boys/girls are victims of human trafficking. It also addresses the fact that for victims, they can't tell the buyer so buyers of sex understand that they are being conned by all the ads that tell them that prostituted persons are "working girls" who love their work.
So where did we get our stat of 75%? Top organizations estimate between 30% to 50% of human trafficking victims are minors. Half of adult victims were minors when they entered "the life." By definition of the law, both these groups are victims of human trafficking which is 65% to 75%. According to Melissa Farley, 84% of prostitutes in the U.S. are under the domination of a pimps. With escort services it is very hard to prove "force, fraud or coercion" because they are paid. However, those victims under the control of a pimp most likely are not paid and "force, fraud and coercion" is often used. So if we only estimate that a third (13%) of the remaining group who were were adults when they "entered the life are victims of human trafficking, the total is 78%. You can find the poster here.
There is a lot of money behind a growing movement to legalize prostitution or decriminalize it only for the prostituted person while keeping it illegal for the buyer and pimp. This is known as the "nordic model." In countries where prostitution was legalized or decriminalized, human trafficking grew because it allows the victims to hide in plain site which is what the human traffickers want so they can operate freely. There is more information on this in the blog "Does Legalizing Prostitution Reduce Human Trafficking?" You can download the poster here.
The problem with many posters that encourage victims to get help is that victims often don't know they are victims until they get out of "the life." They consider themselves to be a girlfriend to a boyfriend, so this poster speaks to that. It also give teen recruiters a warning that consequences are serious for recruiting. You can download the poster here.
90% of boys and 60% of girls under 15 have viewed porn. Porn creates fantasies that users believer only a prostituted person can fulfill. For girls it "grooms" them so they feel that they should be willing to subject themselves to be used by predatory men. This poster educates one that porn is a drug with serious consequences. You can download it here.
This site has great trainings and downloadable flyers like the one to the left. Just go to this link to find posters in 22 different languages. If the link doesn't work, just go to their site and go to the "resource" tab and select "downloadable materials."
Homeland Security's Blue Campaign has some great posters. Just go to this link.
If it doesn't come up, then just to their site and go to the Resource tab and select downloadable materials.
Shared Hope has great resources. Here is the link to find videos, handouts, etc.
We use Pimping Tactics 101 as a handout when we do our teen presentations because it summarizes all the ways pimps/human traffickers trick their victims. Sowers Education focuses on raising awareness among teens. You can find their resources here. Here is their brochure in Spanish.
Fight the New Drug is a tremendous resource in educating teens about the consequences of viewing porn. You can find their resource page here.