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Upcoming Events for VASMS

From: julie
Sent on: Wednesday, March 3, 2010 5:32 PM
Hello Everyone,

As your new organizer I wanted to let you know that there are plans being made for upcoming events and meetings. Also, thanks to those that took the survey which will help us understand what role the members of this group want to play in fighting human trafficking. The results will be shared with the group at the first meeting.

As I mentioned in an earlier email, I am new to this cause and searching for ways to bring my knowledge and education up to speed. I am looking forward to attending the 8th Annual Freedom Network Conference "A Decade in Review - A Decade Before Us, Celebrating Successes and Developing New Strategies" on March 17-18 in Washington, DC. For those who may not be familiar with The Freedom Network, it was established in 2001. It is a coalition of 25 non-governmental organizations that provide services to, and advocate for the rights of, trafficking survivors in the United States. Since the enactment of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 (VTVPA), Freedom Network (USA) members have worked closely with trafficked persons to ensure that they receive necessary services guaranteed under the VTVPA and have also been engaged in monitoring implementation of the law. While there, I have also registered for the training portion. The training includes two modules on the "Dimensions of Trafficking and Identifying Trafficked Persons", the third module is titled "Providing Social Services" and the last is "Understanding the Legal Framework." I look forward to sharing what I learn during these two days.

We are also planning an April 13th meeting from 7-10pm, I am just waiting for the approval of the time/date from George Mason Library in Annandale, at which time I will send an email out to the group. Be sure to pencil the date in now! The meeting will consist of a short introductions of organizers, a review of survey and input of members for future ideas, and then we hope to have a speaker followed by the showing of the film Very Young Girls. David Schisgall's documentary is an expose of human trafficking that follows thirteen and fourteen year old American girls as they are seduced, abused, and sold on New York?s streets by pimps, and treated as adult criminals by police. The film follows the barely-adolescent girls in real time, using v?rit? and intimate interviews with them as they are first lured on to the streets and the dire events which follow. The film also uses startling footage shot by the brazen pimps themselves giving a rare glimpse into how the cycle of street life begins for many women. The film identifies hope for these girls in the organization GEMS (Girls Education and Mentoring Services), a recovery center founded and run by Rachel Lloyd, herself a survivor of sexual exploitation. She and her staff are heroic and relentless in their mission to help girls sent by the court or found on the street. Given a chance to piece their lives back together, some will e edge of two different worlds consistently battling the force that will suck them back into the underground. Very Young Girls? unprecedented access to girls and pimps will change the way law enforcement, the media, and society as a whole look at sexual exploitation, street prostitution and human trafficking that is happening right in our own backyard.

There have been further event ideas of book reviews, additional films, speakers, member training, and fundraising ideas. We look forward to hearing more of your ideas and ways to educate members, increase membership, and network with other organizations. We look forward to getting this group moving forward. Thank you for the many supportive emails from members, I know together we can make a significant contribution to this important cause.

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