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Protecting children is a priority
By Inés Merchán / November 17, 2014 /   Loading Disqus...

The commercial sexual exploitation of children is a growing problem in Rhode Island. Trafficking has horrible consequences for the health, well being and future of its victims. That’s why we are taking the issue head on for the first time. Our $50,000 grant to Day One will produce a lifetime of benefits to the children, their families and society as a whole.

Day One’s mission is to reduce sexual abuse and violence and to support and advocate for those affected by it. Our grant will help Day One create statewide awareness of the commercial sexual exploitation of children through a comprehensive plan that targets community-based organizations, law enforcement, and social service providers working with potential victims, as well as victims. The awareness campaign will also inform the general public about trafficking.

“We have a strong task force behind the effort to effectively respond to sex trafficking in Rhode Island and identify children who are at risk. This grant will build our capacity and help us move this work forward,” says Day One’s Peg Langhammer.

Day One will build and support internal and system-wide capacity in order to better address trafficking and to deliver multidisciplinary interventions. The work includes developing and implementing a screening tool for children at risk for commercial sexual exploitation. Coordinated efforts will emphasize victim-centered, trauma-informed approaches that avoid further stigmatization of youth and will involve better local data collection on the prevalence and needs of victims. There will even be a legislative component, as Day One strives to modify existing laws and policies and create new legislation.

Assessing the needs of trafficking victims, shaping best practices and making continued quality improvements to the project and the efforts of the task force will ensure that program makes a difference in the lives of these children and their families.

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