Sex trafficking has no place in the city, according to a new campaign by the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, and both Sarah Jessica Parker and Gabourey Sidibe agree. To help promote the campaign and a new local hot line, the celebs recently lent their voices to a set of ads currently running on local airwaves.
In SJP’s spot, the Sex and the City star notes that she had been unaware of sex trafficking as a domestic crime. But, she states, “At least 100,000 American children are trafficked into prostitution each year.” Gabourey Sidibe’s PSA complements with a more local approach; the Precious star was born in Brooklyn and is all too aware of the crime’s prevalence. “It makes me sick,” she says, “to think of those animals taking 12-, 13- and 14-year-old girls and renting them out to a John.”
Listeners are encouraged to be aware of sex trafficking in Brooklyn, to know that its victims include both immigrants and Americans, runaways and otherwise vulnerable girls and boys. The campaign also includes posters and fliers visible throughout the community, with information on how to identify sex trafficking. And those with tips to share – or those in need of services – can call the Brooklyn Sex Trafficking Unit’s new hot line at (718) 250-2770.
BKSTU, as the unit calls itself, partners with local agencies to combat sex trafficking, educate the community and provide comprehensive care for victims. With cases consistently making headlines, some of which induce vomiting better than ipecac, the area clearly needs a specialized enforcement unit with a bit of celebrity star power behind it. However, sex trafficking victims nationwide could use greater support. They need shelters, as well as access to medical, counseling and legal services. They need local law enforcement and social service agencies that are equipped to recognize and handle their cases. And they need awareness and understanding from their communities.
If you haven’t already, please take a moment and encourage your representatives to pass the Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Deterrence and Victims Support Act, in order to provide federal and state governments with the resources they need to address this crime. After all, even Gabourey Sidibe and Sarah Jessica Parker can’t be everywhere at once.