Georgia Statewide Human Trafficking Task Force Releases Technical Assistance Resource Guide on Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation Prevention

August 2, 2017

Atlanta, GA — This week Georgia’s Statewide Human Trafficking Task Force, led by the Georgia Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, released a Technical Assistance Resource Guide on Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation Prevention. “It is our hope to provide a resource for schools and youth-serving organizations interested in delivering child sexual abuse and exploitation prevention programs,” said Michelle Anderson, Task Force Coordinator.

“Schools and youth-serving organizations are in a unique position to help young people shape positive, healthy attitudes, beliefs and behaviors that work to prevent sexual abuse and exploitation,” says Tiffany Sawyer, Director of Prevention Services for the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy and Chairperson of the Task Force’s Work Group 2: Youth Aware and Safe. “Primary prevention education is essential in the fight against sex trafficking and it requires a collaborative effort between the schools and allied community partners such as child advocacy centers, rape crisis programs, local child abuse prevention councils and other victim services agencies.”

This comprehensive guide, Georgia’s Child Sexual Abuse & Exploitation Prevention Technical Assistance Resource Guide, or TARG for short, provides background on best practice, principles of prevention, identifying resources for the classroom, developing a prevention plan, age appropriate teaching suggestions, analysis of specific programs, and guidelines for implementation and evaluation. Additional appendices cover Georgia specific health standards, laws and codes regarding mandatory reporting of abuse, fact sheets and identify additional resources.

“Preventing and reducing the occurrence of child sexual abuse and exploitation is a local and state priority,” says Jay Neal, Executive Director of the Georgia Criminal Justice Coordinating Council.  One in ten children are sexually abused before the age of 18, yet most never disclose their abuse (Townsend, C., & Rheingold, A.A., (2013).  Additionally, roughly 90% of survivors of commercial sexual exploitation report having previously experienced child sexual abuse.  (National Institute of Justice. (2007). “By coming together to do everything we can to prevent child abuse, we can significantly decrease the likelihood a child will fall victim to exploitation,” says Bobby Cagle, Executive Director of the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services.

The Task Force’s Work Group 2: Youth Aware and Safe - comprised of dedicated local experts in child advocacy, child abuse prevention, and victims’ services – spent two years reviewing specific child-focused abuse and exploitation prevention programs to create this guide. This guide does not endorse a particular program, but it does provide a list of programs that have met the Work Group’s specific criteria for prevention. It is up to each school and/or youth-serving organization to use this guide as a tool to assess their situation and resources and then decide on a program and implementation plan that best meets their needs. The intention of this guide is to specifically address child sexual abuse and exploitation within the sexual violence continuum and how communities can engage in prevention strategies to improve the health and well-being of their youth population.

Georgia’s Child Sexual Abuse & Exploitation Prevention Technical Assistance Resource Guide is designed to be widely used and distributed and is available for free by downloading a PDF file at: http://georgiacenterforchildadvocacy.org/learn-more/resources/child-sexual-abuse-and-exploitation-prevention-resource-guide.html.

For more information, contact:

Michelle Anderson
Georgia Statewide Human Trafficking Task Force Coordinator, Criminal Justice Coordinating Council
Office: 404-657-1962
michelle.anderson@cjcc.ga.gov           

Tiffany Sawyer
Director of Prevention Services, Georgia Center for Child Advocacy
Office: 678-904-2880 x215
tiffanys@gacfca.org  

Julia Neighbors
Director, Prevent Child Abuse Georgia, School of Public Health, Georgia State University
Office: 404-413-1419
jneighbors@gsu.edu  

References:

National Institute of Justice. (2007). Commercial sexual exploitation of children: What do we know and what do we do about it? (Publication NCJ 215733). US Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs.

Townsend, C., & Rheingold, A.A., (2013). Estimating a child sexual abuse prevalence rate for practitioners: studies. Charleston, S.C., Darkness to Light. Retrieved from www.D2L.org.

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About the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC)

Created by the Georgia General Assembly in 1981 as an Executive Branch agency, the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC) represents the culmination of many efforts to establish a statewide body that would build consensus and unity among the State's diverse and interdependent, criminal justice system components. For more information visit the CJCC website: https://cjcc.georgia.gov/.

About the Georgia Statewide Human Trafficking Task Force

The mission of the Task Force, led by the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, is to protect the citizens of Georgia from perpetrators and systems of sexual exploitation while concurrently working to support recovery of CSEC victims. The Task Force operates by a targeted, strategic framework which consists of individual Work Groups addressing the five elements of the trafficking continuum: Vulnerability> Recruitment> Exploitation> Withdrawal> Reintegration. For more information, visit https://cjcc.georgia.gov/georgia-statewide-human-trafficking-task-force.


Samantha Wolf – Communications and External Affairs Director | Atlanta | 404/657-1958