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As we are gaining media traction and increasing congressional awareness of advocacy efforts to stop sex trafficking of young girls in the U.S., we are diligently working to shift language used by media, law enforcement and elected officials when addressing this issue. We continue to stress, for example, the need to refer to the young girls as victims and survivors, not prostitutes, and how critical it is to understand the bigger issue is domestic sex trafficking – not child prostitution.
Sex trafficking of children in the U.S. is a victim-focused issue, and maintaining sensitivity when using language surrounding the victims and survivors helps to understand the issue and express compassion for those who truly deserve it. Adversely, appropriate language must be used to describe the issue’s antagonists. Overly sensitive or stereotypical language used to describe those who sell and solicit sex with young girls could inspire undue sympathy.
Below are some tips for our member funds to use when talking to media, law enforcement and elected officials to help everyone develop further sensitivity to the issue – and especially to the victims. Click on the subheadings to view additional talking points.