iEmpathize, a non-profit organization that uses empathy and education in an effort to eradicate child exploitation, today announced the launch of a free webinar through its Empower Youth Program. As part of National Human Trafficking Awareness Month in January, the webinar is designed to help middle and high school educators and administrators better identify and respond to the signs of children who are possibly being exploited.
Young people experiencing heightened vulnerability – such as homelessness, exposure to violence, and backgrounds of abuse – are often targeted by exploitative people.
Perpetrators of child exploitation prey on the vulnerability of young people. While many believe child sex trafficking is mainly a problem for females, research has identified that boys are at risk almost as much as girls. In fact, one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before the age of 18. Due to the age of children targeted, perpetrators of these crimes view schools as a prime location to lure new victims.
“If we don’t want youth to become victims of exploitation, we must equip them with specific strategies they can use to navigate their vulnerabilities,” said Candace Joice, Education Manager with iEmpathize. “iEmpathize empowers teens with those safety strategies and with empathy – so that they’ll care about helping others stay safe. When adults living and working among youth are aware of those vulnerabilities, they are also able to help. This new webinar is designed specifically to help educators and administrators learn to recognize and respond to signs of victimization among students in their own schools.”
As part of this webinar program, iEmpathize will arm educators and administrators with the key signs for identifying students in need. This includes information on how to recognize and respond to signs of exploited youth. The webinar will provide strategies to help the school’s staff build a response protocol to create an environment where all are prepared to recognize and respond to vulnerable or victimized youth.
The general content of the 30-minute webinar will address how exploitation comes in many forms, such as bullying and neglect, as well as emotional, physical and sexual abuse. While human trafficking is perhaps the most extreme form of exploitation, it is the least known by youth. The webinar will provide an introduction to the issue through an understanding of the “Four ’T’s’ of Human Trafficking,”
The new webinar is based upon the methodologies employed in the Empower Youth Program and offers schools an introduction to the more in-depth programming that is available. Middle school educators and administrators who would like to participate in the January webinars should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
While many prevention programs require that the host organization be present to lead the trainings, the Empower Youth Program comes in an all-inclusive package consisting of a series of short films and a facilitator guide. This information can be led by an educator, parent, youth service provider or anyone working with a teen. If support is needed, iEmpathize staff are available to provide individualized support.
To view the Empower Youth Program trailer, to obtain a copy of the program or for more information, visit empower.iempathize.org.
The webinar will take place on on January 28th at 4pm Mountain time (3pm Pacific). To register, please send an email to email@example.com.