Saturday, November 1, 7-9 p.m.

Hawthorne Gospel Church, Hawthorne, NJ

“It’s impossible to protect all girls from guys like I was, because that’s what we do. We eat, drink, and sleep thinking of ways to trick young girls into doing what we want them to do.”  ~ Ex-pimp (from the movie CHOSEN)

It’s a tragic truth that at least 100,000 children are exploited in prostitution every year in America. <<Tweet This

Both boys and girls are susceptible to the deception and manipulations of traffickers. The primary factor of vulnerability is the child’s age. The average age of entry into prostitution is 13 years old. But there are other risk factors as well.

In every country in the world - except one – poverty is the number one risk factor that leads to human trafficking. The one exception is the United States where the number one risk factor is the breakdown of the family. But children don’t have to run away, abuse drugs, or be involved with unsavory characters to be at risk. The sexualization of our society, the widespread availability of the Internet, and self-esteem/peer pressure issues all contribute to younger and younger children engaging in risky behavior, even children who “know better,” who come from “good” homes.

We must dispel the myth that human trafficking is something that only occurs in distant countries.

It happens here in the U.S., including right in New Jersey. Victims can be courted in high schools or snared at malls. Since the average life expectancy of an HT victim is seven years due to drugs, disease, or violence, many don’t see their 21st birthdays.

Justice Network is a NJ group dedicated to raising awareness about both local and global human trafficking and providing tangible ways to make a difference that puts an end to modern-day slavery.

On Saturday, November 1st, we are hosting Youth 4 Justice (Y4J), an event for youth across northern New Jersey. Y4J is intended to alert youth to the warning signs of human traffickers, to prevent risk, and to rally the youth around this global issue, challenging them to become world changers. The event will be held at Hawthorne Gospel Church from 7 – 11 p.m.

There’ll be music, a movie, breakout groups for girls and boys, and action steps with ways to prevent risk and make a difference in the lives of others. If you are a youth leader, I encourage you to bring as many of your group as possible. And if you are a parent of a high school student, please mark your calendars for the Nov. 1st event.

For more information about Youth 4 Justice, or any other justice issue, visit or contact:

Website: www.justice-network.org

Email: info@justice-network.org

Phone: 201-755-5730

 

Susan Panzica

Executive Director, Justice Network

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