the STAR program
When you drive down the road and see teenage girls dressed provocatively and selling their bodies, do you think she is a child prostitute or do you see her as a sexually exploited child?
As a society we have been taking damaged young girls and continuing to perpetuate their belief that they don’t matter and are somehow wrong and/or deserve the treatment they have been given in their short lives.
The courts are finally realizing that these teens are not criminals, but commercially sex trafficked children. They don’t need to be arrested, they need help. They have been emotionally and/or sexually abused and this unhealed trauma leads to drug use, makes it difficult for them to stay in school and stay out of trouble.
There is where a new program called the STAR program comes in. This program has been popping up in the major cities across the U.S. Instead of prosecuting these teens criminally in juvenile courts and continuing the pattern of abuse they have experienced from those in power, they are trying to show these kids that there are adults in positions of authority who do care about them.
The are put into a group home safe away from the pimps and gangs. They enroll in a gang intervention programs, they receive educational opportunities, job training and even family reunification services. They try to provide these young girls with a support system, which is something that no one has ever provided to them. They are given cell phones and assigned advocates that are there when they call. Probably the first time in some of their lives that they could call for help, and have someone answer.
The link is to a series of documentaries and films that can educate you on what you can do to make a difference.
For more about this sex trafficked children see: