Rotarians for Hope
As a Rotarian for Hope, Rotarians support the bridge to recovery for child victims of sex trafficking in their own communities and across the globe.
Child sex trafficking is one of the most common types of commercial sexual exploitation. Child sex trafficking is a high priority at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® because these children are often currently missing and actively being exploited. Child sex trafficking victims include girls and boys. NCMEC has been designated by the U.S. Congress to serve as the nation’s clearinghouse on issues of missing and exploited children.
As part of our efforts to combat this crime, NCMEC partners with the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI in the Innocence Lost National Initiative, a combined effort aimed at addressing the growing problem of domestic sex trafficking of children in the U.S. NCMEC’s Child Sex Trafficking Team provides comprehensive analytical services and training to law enforcement and serves the needs of child victims by providing them with basic necessities upon recovery.
Child sex trafficking is a missing child issue
"Cassandra1" age 13
Cassandra was only 13 years old when she was first reported missing to NCMEC. Over the course of the next 5 years, Cassandra was reported missing 23 additional times. She had been living in a foster care home in Florida where she lacked the parental care and support she needed. She was recruited into trafficking by another child living in her foster care home and then was victimized by several traffickers who sold her for sex. At one point Cassandra was recovered during a law enforcement sting operation when she was 17 years old, and her traffickers were arrested. Cassandra continued to be reported missing after that recovery and there were concerns she was still being trafficked. Cassandra suffered physical and psychological harm while she was being trafficked. Resources available to help trafficked children after they reach the age of 18 are very limited.
Partnering together with NCMEC, Rotarians for Hope will help build a bridge of support and commitment that addresses the immediate and long-term needs of victims of child sex trafficking. Rotarians have an opportunity to influence a positive future for these vulnerable children and foster hope for a better life.
What can Rotarians for Hope do?
Help break the cycle of child sex trafficking by educating community leaders. Help create awareness and concern so this vulnerable population of children is not ignored and abandoned.
- Invite NCMEC to present at local community awareness training events
- Work with your local middle and high schools to host presentations using NCMEC safety materials
- Support NCMEC’s High-Risk Child Poster Initiative
- Share posters of missing children in your area on your Facebook and other social media accounts
- Encourage local business owners to become NCMEC Photo Partners
Once a victim is recovered, their most basic needs are food, clothing and shelter from harm. Supporting them during this critical time shows them that they won’t always be a victim of exploitation and manipulation.
- Support NCMEC’s Hope bag initiative, which provides survivors with a change of clothes, food, toiletries, and other basic items they need in the first 24 hours of recovery
- Fund NCMEC child safety and abduction prevention education trainings for law enforcement, child welfare agencies, and other child-serving organizations
Survivors of child sex trafficking are resilient, but recovery from this victimization is difficult and full of challenges. Child sex trafficking victims require long-term attention and care. They need mentoring and financial assistance during this time to successfully transition from victim to survivor.
- Hold a fundraiser to support NCMEC’s expanding victim services
- Support NCMEC’s Family Advocacy Outreach Network, which provides skilled therapists and counselors during the recovery process
- Provide funding to expand NCMEC’s ability to identify and fund supportive services
A network of hope
We need the power of Rotarians to help NCMEC raise awareness and funding to combat this heinous crime against children in our local communities, across the U.S. and globally. Together, we can build of a network of Hope and help provide children with a better tomorrow.
Join us and be part of the solution.
Activate your club’s Rotarians for Hope initiative at email@example.com. Rotarians for Hope is a new initiative of the NCMEC. Please contact NCMEC at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-837-6249 to discuss ways that we can work together.