Child abuse takes many forms and in today's world there are many different types. It is no longer just being physically, sexually and mentally, but throw in emotionally, psychologically, culturally…today's victim has to deal with a lot. The old adage of “an ounce of prevention is worth pound of cure” is so true. Youth4Abolition’s model of peer-to-peer education has proven time and time again to be effective. Not only are we educating today's most vulnerable population, but we're bringing awareness to a form of child abuse that occurs much more frequently than we would like to think.
One of our former Youth4Abolition chapter leaders shared this story with us. During her freshman year of college, one of her friends was very much engaging with a “new boy” in a way that showed signs of leading to something more than just a healthy dating relationship. This friend’s boyfriend was 13 years older than she, lavishing her with expensive and outrageous gifts, monopolized her time and she would not introduced him to any of her friends. Our Y4A college freshman was truly scared for her friend. With tears in her eyes, she confided in us how concerned she was for her and how much she discouraged her friend’s relationship time and time again. A few months later she told us that yes, her talks with her friend did make a difference. That her friend finally broke up with this boyfriend who was displaying all the signs of grooming a future trafficking victim.
Despite this COVID-crazy year of 2020, our Youth4Abolition high school chapters across two states and three school districts engaged hundreds of teens monthly on various topics dealing with human trafficking. As they work hard to bring education and awareness to their club members, we have yet to measure their reach. Consider the size of each member's reach personally- they're high schools, the communities they live in, other clubs, sports and extracurricular activities they participate in and their families. We are confident that this generation will be the generation to end modern day slavery as they truly bring awareness to human trafficking, both as club members and as life-long abolitionists. During this month, we know that Y4A is preventing child abuse now, and in the future.