On March 3rd, Parents on Track watched the documentary: Very Young Girls (2007) to bring a social issue to the forefront and assist parents begin an open dialogue about human trafficking-in their household and community-to prevent victimization of young men and women.
Very Young Girls is an exposé of the commercial sexual exploitation of girls in New York City as they are sold on the streets by pimps and treated as adult criminals by police. The film follows barely adolescent girls in real time, using vérité and intimate interviews with them, documenting their struggles and triumphs as they seek to exit the commercial sex industry. The film also uses startling footage shot by pimps themselves, giving a rare glimpse into how the cycle of exploitation begins for many women.
The film identifies hope for these girls in the organization GEMS (Girls Educational and Mentoring Services), a recovery agency founded and run by Rachel Lloyd, herself a survivor of commercial sexual exploitation. GEMS is committed to ending commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking of children by changing individual lives, transforming public perception, and revolutionizing the systems and policies that impact commercially sexually exploited youth. Under Ms. Lloyd’s leadership, GEMS annually serves more than 300 girls through its direct services and 1,000 youth through education and outreach.
After the movie, we held a Q & A session facilitated by Dr. Phyllis E. Gillians, Assistant Professor of Social Work, Bowie State University.
Very Young Girls will change the way law enforcement, the media, and society as a whole look at the commercial sexual exploitation, street prostitution, and human trafficking that is happening right in our own backyard.
Please visit www.gems-girls.org for more information.