Building Authentic Partnerships to Reduce Sex Trafficking and Heal and Rebuild Lives, Families, and Communities
Keywords:Community partnership, sex trafficking, prostitution, sexual exploitation, public health, primary prevention, restorative justice, john schools
Sex trafficking and sexual exploitation are tragedies affecting people across the United States and throughout our world. Over 34,700 sex trafficking cases in the US were reported to the National Sex Trafficking Hotline between 2007-2017, while globally, the International Labor Organization estimates 4.8 million people are being sexually exploited. In order to try to reduce and eventually eliminate the demand for sex trafficking and exploitation, Breaking Free, a survivor-led agency in Saint Paul, Minnesota began a partnership with Building Peaceful Community, a Minnesota-based violence prevention organization, to transform its former "John School" into "Men Breaking Free." This new approach, started in June 2018, is showing promising, transformative, healing results both with men referred to the program for having been arrested for trying to purchase sex from another human being, as well as with Breaking Free staff, survivors, and community partners. This paper describes the change from John School to Men Breaking Free, results from the first 14 months of this new approach, and potential implications for more effectively reducing demand and reducing sex trafficking, locally, nationally and world-wide.
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Copyright (c) 2020 Donald Gault
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