Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking in Atlanta on the Rise
I was contacted by CCG Consulting to attend The Atlanta Fashion Showcase that benefitted Street Grace, an organization pioneering the end of minor domestic sex trafficking, and I knew that I had to align myself with this cause.
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The fashion show was held at Kai Lin Art in the West Midtown area of Atlanta, and was hosted by the glamorous Carla Stephens of Bravo’s Mother Funders.
The first designer to hit the runway with her U.S. debut was Larisa Dragna. Her body defining collections have drawn national acclaim around the globe.
Avnah Collection followed with bold & futuristic designs. The designer’s mission is to help someone or some country with every purchase from her collections.
I'm admittedly biased in that I was anticipating the designs of Storm Dorris the most, and he did not disappointed. A SCAD graduate, and Georgia-based designer, Storm's designs can be described as a timeless love letter to fashion.
The designer’s lace collection featured beautiful beading over sheer fabric that accentuated my favorite body part to show off ... the strong frame of the back and shoulders.
His inspiration lies in a fascination with the life and vibes of Queen Marie Antoinette, whom I also have a penchant for studying. I can't wait to see what else this designer has coming down the runway in years to come.
Featured company, Dior, closed out the night with mostly all white ensembles. My favorite pieces were the "WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINISTS" shirt, and an intricately embroidered, sheer dress that anchored the collection.
Why was this event so near and dear to my heart? To be honest, my brother was almost a sex trafficking victim.
When I first visited Georgia State University as a prospective college student, a redhead with the bluest eyes told our prospective group that Atlanta is as safe as you make it.
"DON’T ASSUME SOMEONE HAS YOUR BEST INTEREST IN MIND"
That advice has been emblazoned into my mind, and I continue to share this sentiment with whomever will listen. Fast forward to my freshman year, and my brother who was 15/16 at the time, came to visit me for a weekend that neither one of us will ever forget.
"WHEN HE APPROACHED ME AT THE VARSITY ON MY WAY BACK TO YOUR DORM, HE WAS LIKE IT AIN'T WORTH IT IS IT? I DIDN'T UNDERSTAND WHAT THAT MEANT AT THE TIME, BUT I JUST SAID NO."
For some naive reason, I thought that it would be ok for my brother to walk by himself to a Publix grocery store that was roughly a mile away. On this journey, an unidentified man would not only approach my brother, but continue to follow and make advances towards him twice more before backing off.
"I COULD HAVE BEEN IN A MUCH WORSE SITUATION IF I HAD SAID ONE WRONG THING."
So what can we do to help combat minor sex trafficking? The first step would be to recognize the red flags:
What types of relationships does the child have?
Are there any unexplained bruises on the child’s body?
Have there been any drastic changes in their behavior or appearance?
Is the minor dressed appropriately for the season or occasion?
Does the minor look dehydrated, malnourished, or exhausted?
If you have children, or younger siblings, have an honest discussion about what it is sex trafficking and stranger danger. Accompany children into stores, school, and play dates when you can.
While I disagree with the impact of pornography infographic, Street Grace provides many other sex trafficking resources on internet and phone safety tips, recognizing the signs of sex trafficking, and ways to report if you suspect sex trafficking.
Domestic minor sex trafficking in Atlanta has been ranked number 1 due to the many conventions held throughout the city. We can all be doing our part to demand an end to this disgusting practice.
HAVE YOU NOTICED SEX TRAFFICKING IN YOUR AREA AND REPORTED IT? COMMENT BELOW HOW THIS IMPACTED YOU AND WHY YOU DID OR DID NOT REPORT WHAT YOU SAW.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2017, and has been updated for accuracy and clarity.
Bianca is a hot toddy sippin', festival lovin’, LGBTQ content strategizing, Om addict. When she's not exploring a new city, you can catch her tinkerin’ in the kitchen.
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