FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 19, 2014) — Attorney General Jack Conway, along with the Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation Prevention (CSAEP) Board and the Catholic Charities of Louisville HOPE Campaign, on Monday unveiled an online video series created to increase awareness about human trafficking in Kentucky.
The seven-part video series provides a closer look at human trafficking from the various perspectives of trafficking survivors, Kentucky legislators, and law enforcement officials. Each video focuses on a specific trafficking-related issue, such as Kentucky laws on human trafficking, tips for identifying and assisting victims of human trafficking, and resources and services available to survivors.
“Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery, and it’s happening right here in Kentucky,” Conway said. “I am proud of these survivors for having the courage to share their heart-filled stories in an effort to increase awareness about this growing crime. This online video series will serve as an invaluable educational tool that will help our health care providers, law enforcement officials, social workers, and all Kentuckians better recognize and prevent human trafficking in our communities.”
The human trafficking online video series was produced by the HOPE Campaign and funded through a grant from the Child Victims’ Trust Fund (CVTF), which has provided funding to regional and statewide child advocacy programs since 1984. The CVTF is administered by the CSAEP Board, which Conway chairs.
“Research suggests that the average age of entry into prostitution in the United States is 12 to 14 years old,” said Marissa Castellanos, manager of Catholic Charities’ human trafficking services. “In Kentucky, 59 percent of all human trafficking victims were children when they were initially trafficked. Through funding provided by the Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation Prevention Board and the Child Victims’ Trust Fund, the HOPE Campaign was created to change these dynamics, inform young people of these realities and how to get help, and prevent children in Kentucky from being exploited.”
In addition to the human trafficking online video series, funding from the CVTF has allowed the HOPE Campaign to provide critical training to law enforcement and community-based agencies in Kentucky. In the last year, representatives with the HOPE Campaign and the Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs have trained approximately 370 health care providers, law enforcement officials, and social workers in every region of the commonwealth on issues related to human trafficking.
Additionally, the CVTF funds the HOPE Campaign’s chapstick outreach initiative, in which chapstick containers are labeled with the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline and distributed to businesses across the state.
“For the past 30 years, the CSAEP Board has worked to reduce the abuse and exploitation of children by encouraging education, awareness, and prevention programs across the commonwealth,” Conway said. “As chair of the CSAEP Board, I’m proud to continue supporting programs through our Child Victims’ Trust Fund that are making a difference and paving the way for a safer future for our kids.”
The human trafficking online video series is available for viewing on ICareAboutKids.ky.gov and the HOPE Campaign’s website here.
The National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline is 1-888-373-7888.
‘I Care About Kids’ website
In February 2014, Conway unveiled ICareAboutKids.ky.gov, a newly designed website created for the Child Victims’ Trust Fund. The updated and user-friendly website gives Kentuckians better access to information about the CVTF’s child sexual abuse prevention initiatives and the resources that are available to them. The website also allows Kentuckians to donate to the fund.
CVTF prevention activities and child advocacy programs are funded through private donations, proceeds from the “I Care About Kids” special license plate, and the Kentucky Income Tax Donation check box.
For more information on the CSAEP Board and CVTF, visit ICareAboutKids.ky.gov.