One of the most reprehensible and horrific crimes is the sexual exploitation of children. Sexual assault is any kind of non-consensual sexual activity, and it can range from subtle to violent. Types of sexual crimes against children can include rape, sexual threats and intimidation, incest, assault by partners, human trafficking, harassment, street harassment and other unwelcome, coerced or non-consensual activity.
Some children may be unaware the abuse is even happening to them, as it has been normalized, or are too afraid to report it. But now, states and schools are taking steps to remedy this issue.
In 2017, California lawmakers passed nearly 900 bills, with Governor Jerry Brown signing them into law. As we enter 2018, the majority of those laws go into effect. One law in particular that’s worth examining is Assembly Bill 1227, the Human Trafficking Prevention Education and Training Act.
This bill adds human trafficking and sexual abuse education to existing sexual health education in middle and high schools. Under this law, students from grades 7 through 12 must be taught about sexual abuse and human trafficking prevention. The curriculum includes topics like:
- What human trafficking is
- The prevalence of the crime
- How to recognize trafficking red flags
- Strategies to reduce the risk
- Techniques to set healthy boundaries
- Tools to safely seek help and assistance
- Trauma response for adults and educators
These educational and training procedures aim to coordinate efforts between local agencies through agreed-upon protocols, as well as provide county leaders and educators with the tools they need to identify children who are at risk. And, by making the school-age population aware of the issue, the law aims to minimize the risk of children being exploited and becoming victims of trafficking via the typical criminal means of fraud, violence, or coercion.
With this past January 11 designated as National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, this is a timely and troubling issue. Here are some quick and sobering facts to illustrate the importance of this law and the education it will provide:
- Approximate 100,000 children per year are victims of human trafficking in the United States
- California has the highest number of trafficking cases reported to the National Human Trafficking hotline
- One in six runaways are likely victims of human trafficking
- Public schools are a probable hunting ground for predators
If your child has been abused by an adult, you need to take all the necessary steps to bring them to justice. You can trust the attorneys at Taylor & Ring to provide compassionate, honest, but aggressive representation for victims of sexual assault. Call us today at 310.776.6390 or complete our contact form to schedule a consultation. We serve clients in Los Angeles and the Southern California area.