Reducing The Risk is a preventative program for elementary aged students. The average age of entry into prostitution is approximately 13 years old, however U.S. direct service providers report that they have been encountering “increasingly younger victims over the past decade” (Heather J. Clawson, 2009). This is why it is crucial to educate children before they become victims.
American children are among the most vulnerable population to become victims of sex-trafficking in the United States and this crime is present in the public school system (Heather J. Clawson, 2009). The risk factors that lead to this vulnerability are vast and incorporate many components. The most common trends identified include prior involvement in the child welfare system and a past history of sexual abuse (Follman, 2014). In addition, studies support that women and girls represent the largest population effected by trafficking each year (Polaris Project).
The Covering House focuses on key methods to approaching this sensitive subject with young female students. Goals of this program will include, but are not limited to, helping each student understand the definition of exploitation, how to identify safe people, navigating the internet safely and defining sexual consent.
The Covering House will utilize our current education programming used within the community, while also working in conjunction with the key teachers, and counselors to develop curriculum and evaluation tools. This approach is important because it will assist The Covering House in developing a program that will insure its effectiveness for this demographic.
Follman, C. (2014). Understanding Prevention Programming for the Commerical Sexual Exploitation of Children and Youth in the United States. St. Louis: Joseph H. & Florence A. Roblee Foundation .
Heather J. Clawson, N. D. (2009). Human Trafficking Into and Within the United States: A Review of the Literature . U.S. Department of Health & Human Services .
Human Trafficking Trends in the United States. (n.d.). Retrieved from Polaris Project.