Bay City News

Alameda County DA Launches Ad Campaign Against Sex Trafficking

NBC Bay Area

The Alameda County District Attorney's Office has launched a new campaign to combat the sex trafficking of children and teens.

The prosecutors' office said its education effort is called Disrupt Sex Trafficking and involves the placement of 60 public service ads on AC Transit buses and Clear Channel bus shelters throughout Alameda County.

The District Attorney's Office said the campaign focuses on the methods through which youths are recruited by traffickers and practical steps that can interrupt sexual exploitation of children.

Ads reading "Sex Traffickers Love Technology, Too" highlight how exploiters befriend their victims on social media, according to prosecutors.

Another poster, entitled "Girlfriend for Sale," focuses on how traffickers lure victims into false relationships and then coerce them into the illicit sex trade, the District Attorney's Office said.

"The terrifying reality is that any child or teen with a device can meet a sex trafficker, even in the safety of their own home," District Attorney Nancy O'Malley said in a statement. "Teens now have hundreds or even thousands of online contacts, and predators use this tool to befriend, lure, and gain the trust of young victims."

The campaign was created along with the anti-trafficking organization Abolitionist Mom with input from trafficking survivor leaders and art direction by Garnet Creative.

"Youths can be recruited and trafficked while attending school," Genice Jacobs of Abolitionist Mom said. "Human trafficking education and intervention programs at schools are necessary to prevent more children from becoming exploited."

The District Attorney's Office said Clear Channel Outdoor is a strong partner in spreading the message about fighting sex trafficking, as it has been in past campaigns.

Prosecutors said education and awareness are the key to disrupting sex trafficking.

The District Attorney's Office said high-resolution files of the ad campaign will be made available upon request and the campaign is available for use at any schools or public events.

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