Wednesday, March 23, 2011
In Miami, Florida there is a sex-trafficking outreach program called Project Gold which serves the streets of South Florida. Sexual trafficking has been a growing problem in South Florida for some time and Project Gold has been able to help those who have become victims to it. The average age of the girls that they end up finding are 14-years-old, each of them ending up on the streets for different reasons. Some of these young girls have been kidnapped, others are runaways who were promised a great life but ended up in the same abusive situation that they were trying to flee from. Aside from helping these young girls, Project Gold is aimed at changing the stigmas often attributed to these girls so that people will see them for what they are; victims.
This story is a prime example of what Sandra Wilson was talking about in “Hurt People Hurt People” when she discussed the fantasies that children in hurtful families come to believe. In many of these instances the girls found on the streets come from broken, abusive, and painful family histories. They are still children and so the fantasies that they believe are so much more real to them as they can’t make sense of everything that is going on around them. These girls often don’t understand that it is not their fault that they are being treated this way because they believe that there is something wrong with them that is incurring this abuse.
These false beliefs are what Project Gold is attempting to help these young girls overcome. The volunteers find the girls and offer them help, but they cannot make them take it. The young women must come of their own accord. This first step is extremely important and leads to the dispelling of the beliefs which they have adhered to. Project Gold is doing a wonderful thing by offering these girls a way out and changing the views that they themselves as well as society has had about their very unfortunate situations.