Mayor’s Office on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault and Clear Channel launch child sex trafficking awareness campaign

Today, City of Seattle Deputy Mayor Hyeok Kim joined Clear Channel Outdoor to unveil a campaign to combat child sex trafficking in Seattle and King County.  Other partners include the Center for Children & Youth Justice and StolenYouth.

This campaign is intended to address child sex trafficking which has become a $42 billion a year industry with estimates that as many as 500 teens working are victims of sex trafficking in the Seattle/King County area.  Unfortunately without intensive intervention, 77% of prostituted youth will continue to engage in commercial sex work as adults.

With the goal of preventing child sexual trafficking and promoting resources to rescue survivors, beginning today and running through June 1, 2015, educational messages about child sex trafficking will be displayed on 43 traditional and digital billboards.  These billboards will be seen across Seattle and King County.  Clear Channel Airports will also display 32 screens at Seattle-Tacoma Airport.

“Child sex trafficking is heinous sexual abuse and we must come together a community to put a stop to it,” said Mayor Murray. “Thank you to Clear Channel Outdoor and our partners for this joint effort to raise awareness about child sex trafficking’s devastating impact on young and vulnerable victims.”

“We are proud to be part of such an important campaign to raise awareness of human trafficking in Seattle.  Billboards are a powerful way to reach people while also targeting specific audiences, and Clear Channel has a long history of working with law enforcement, government agencies and nonprofits on myriad public safety and community building initiatives.” said Pam Guinn, president, CCO-Washington State.  “Modern slavery is a pervasive scourge that affects all of us in all of our communities and so we hope this campaign will be a strong and visible step forward in the fight against this crime.”

“Raising awareness of child sex trafficking is a critical first step to effectively addressing it.  Changing policies and providing real support to these vulnerable young men and women as a community will end this abuse forever,” said Justice Bobbe J. Bridge (ret.), Founding President and CEO of the Center for Children & Youth Justice, a Seattle-based nonprofit organization that works to reform Washington’s child welfare and juvenile justice systems.”

“StolenYouth is grateful to be a partner in this campaign to help fight child trafficking in Seattle. StolenYouth works tirelessly to bring this issue into our community’s consciousness, so that we are better able to put a stop to this pervasive problem.  The hundreds of boys and girls that are at risk, and vulnerable to predators, deserve to be protected.” Patty Fleischmann, co-founder and President of StolenYouth. “We hope that these billboards are a reminder that here in Seattle, our kids are not for sale.”

Annually Seattle Human Services Department through the Mayor’s Office on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault invests in more than $4.9 million in services and programs to address sexual exploitation, domestic violence and sexual assault prevention, intervention, coordinated response and offenders’ accountability programs.

Call 1-888-373-7888 to get help and/or to anonymously report tips of suspected human trafficking, toll-free, 24 hours-a-day, every day of the year. The hotline is available in English and Spanish, and in more than 180 languages through the use of interpreters. 

Learn more about this campaign and the Mayor’s Office on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, here.

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The Seattle Human Services Department is one of the largest contributors to Seattle’s safety net as it provides $99 million in funding through 522 contracts to nearly 200 agencies that support Seattle’s most vulnerable residents each year.  The department works closely with its community partners, including other public and nonprofit funders and service providers, to understand current and emerging human service needs, and to create and invest in a comprehensive and integrated regional human services system.

Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CCO) is one of the world’s largest outdoor advertising companies with more than 675,000 displays in over 40 countries across Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America and North America.  Reaching millions of people monthly, including consumers in 45 of the top 50 U.S. markets, Clear Channel Outdoor enables advertisers to engage with consumers through innovative advertising solutions.  Clear Channel Outdoor is pioneering the integration of out-of-home with mobile and social platforms, and the company’s digital platform includes more than 8,000 screens worldwide, with 1,175 digital billboards across 37 U.S. markets.

 

StolenYouth is a 501(c)(3) Non Profit Organization, Tax ID#45-4985230, formed in Washington State, to support commercially sexually exploited children through advocacy and fundraising. The organization was created by a passionate and committed group of Seattle area women who have come together to shine a light on the plight of commercially sexually exploited youth in our community.

Founded in 2006, the Center for Children & Youth Justice (CCYJ) is a nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to reforming Washington’s juvenile justice and child welfare systems. CCYJ leads communities, Washington State and the nation in creating innovative approaches to real and lasting reforms that will support kids, stabilize families and strengthen communities.  CCYJ’s programs and initiatives identify gaps and cracks, develop well-researched and creative approaches to mending problems, and then ensure that policymakers embed those reforms into practices and procedures. The results of CCYJ’s work are put into state law, adopted as standing protocols by the courts and schools, or developed into new treatments and interventions for at-risk, abused or neglected children and their families.