To utilize market forces to curb sex trafficking of young girls in the United States.
Originally, the goal was to decrease demand for sex trafficked minors in the U.S. by educating “Johns”, men who solicit for sex, on the difference between consenting sex workers and coerced, underage sex trafficked minors.
That quickly changed when we dove deep into secondary research into the needs and motivations of Johns.
We discovered that the sexual needs of Johns superseded any other concerns they may have about the girls they solicit.
We also did expert interviews with the FBI, therapists, a sex surrogate, a pimp, and social workers to gain a better understanding of the reality of sex trafficking on the ground.
Armed with our research, we created a systems map to understand the sex trafficking ecosystem with all of the players, their relationships to each other, and the experiences they seek.
The two systems of law enforcement and social services that are serving sexually exploited girls would either force them into incarceration for physical protection or be placed into halfway or foster homes that lacks the long-term psychological care that this population needs.
- Most “Johns” are interested in ‘no strings attached’ sex for quick satisfaction, convenience, and to feel like a “man” by asserting their power.
- Trafficking girls is a less risky and more profitable alternative to selling drugs.
Sexually exploited girls often go through significant amounts of trauma before, during, and after life in the sex industry. They require long-term social support services that are not tied to incarceration.
We are combining the safety and security that law enforcement want for the girls with the love and support that social workers want. Our solution will not set a tone of penalization for the girls by incarceration or send them to halfway homes with no connected social services.
Serenitas is a national network of compassionate rehabilitation centers for sexually exploited girls.
Our goals for Serenitas:
- Increase the morale of sexually exploited girls by giving them the power to change their situation.
- Disrupt the sex trafficking ecosystem by closing the feedback loop of the girls returning to the “life” of prostitution thus destabilizing the supply.
- Bridge the silos between social support services and law enforcement by providing a solution that they both find effective.
- By providing a safe, secure, and compassionate rehabilitation center focused solely on sexually exploited girls, Serenitas can significantly disrupt the current ecosystem of continued supply of vulnerable girls on the market for sex work.