Signs of Sexual Abuse from A Future, Not a Past
I blogged before about the tragedy of the sex trafficking of young girls in Atlanta, and the good work of A Future, Not a Past. A Future, Not a Past is an Atlanta-based organization spearheaded by the Juvenile Justice Fund – a private/public partnership determined to protect and inspire the girls who are currently the victims of commercial sexual exploitation.
A Future, Not a Past has just premiered the film Playground in their continuing mission to raise awareness of the pressing issue of child sex trafficking. The film is a documentary about the reality of domestic trafficking produced in cooperation with BluPrint Films.
For all of these girls, struggling through circumstances most of us cannot even imagine (and do not wish to), it is imperative that friends, teachers, parents and law enforcement learn that there are signs of sexual abuse and exploitation. By recognizing these signs and contacting the proper support organizations, we can all do our part to help prevent at risk children from falling into prostitution, and we can help rescue those already trapped in a far too adult situation.
A Future, Not a Past provides this list of signs to watch for when you suspect a child you know may be at risk.
Personal indicators include:
-Inappropriate dress, either oversized or overtly sexual clothing
-Poor personal hygiene
-Possesses large amounts of money
-Rumors among students about the child’s sexual activity – which the child herself may or may not deny
-Angry, aggressive, or alternatively clinical depression, suicidal or tearful behavior
-Diagnosed with sexually transmitted diseases/infections
-Older boyfriend, male friend or relative
-Older female friend
-Withdrawn or uncommunicative
Educational factors include:
-Not at grade level
-Special education with the personal indicators listed above
-Low functioning or developmentally delayed with the personal indicators listed above
-Behavioral issues in school
-Truancy and/or chronic absenteeism
-Sleeping in class
Family factors include:
-Runaway or throwaway children
-Lack of adult supervision
-Lack of adult support
-Sexual abuse at home, either by a friend or family member
-History with the Department of Family and Children’s Services
-Parental substance abuse
-Living in or hanging out in and around areas known for prostitution
Legal Issues include:
-In the Juvenile Justice System, probably as a repeat offender
-Fake identification or fake dance permits
-A history of recruiting others into prostitution
-Arrest in or around areas known for prostitution, such as an adult entertainment venue, strip club, X-rated video shop or hotel
With vigilance, Atlanta can reduce the number of girls dragged every year into exploitation.
To get help for a child you feel may be at risk, take advantage of the of the contact page at A Future, Not a Past’s website. They will be able to connect you to the support and resources necessary to provide at risk girls with the future they really deserve, free of coercion, violence and victimization at the hands of criminal adults. In the case of an emergency, contact the appropriate emergency services. Otherwise, immediately contact the following numbers.
Georgia Statewide Tip Line
National Center For Missing and Exploited Children Hotline
Dear John Hotline