According to some estimates, approximately 80% of trafficking involves sexual exploitation, and 19% involves labor exploitation. According to the U.S. State Department, 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year, of which 80% are female, and half are children. In Sonoma County, since 2011, over 160 human trafficking and prostitution cases have been filed by the District Attorney’s Office.
Members of this ad hoc interviewed survivors of human trafficking and set up trainings between school administration and Verity (a Sonoma County nonprofit that provides counseling, advocacy, intervention, and education for those who have faced sexual assault, including human trafficking victims) in order to instruct school officials on the warning signs of human trafficking victims.
Relationship violence is domestic violence perpetrated by one spouse or partner in an intimate relationship against the other. Relationship violence can take a number of forms including physical, verbal, emotional, economic, and sexual abuse. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines intimate partner violence as “…any behavior within an intimate relationship that causes physical, psychological, or sexual harm to those in the relationship, including acts of physical aggression, sexual coercion, psychological abuse and controlling behaviors”.
Members of this ad hoc conducted middle school classroom presentations on the devastation of relationship violence, how to spot victims, and how to find help. Posters with signs and resources were created for school classrooms.
Healthy Mind & Body
Unrealistic and unhealthy images of women are rampant in marketing products. Real life women and girls are compared to these “idealized” images and judged harshly by others and themselves. Body image is closely linked to self-esteem. Approximately 91% of women and girls are unhappy with their bodies and resort to dieting to achieve their ideal body shape – an ideal defined by society. According to a study by Bradley Hospital, adolescents with negative body image concerns are more likely to be depressed, anxious, and suicidal.
Members of this ad hoc created a four-episode podcast on body positivity: the issue, its prevalence, a few of their own stories and experiences, and where listeners can find support and resources.
Empowering women to participate fully in economic life across all sectors is essential to build stronger economies, achieve internationally agreed upon goals for development and sustainability, and improve the quality of life for women, men, families and communities.
Members of this ad hoc created a Facebook page called Women of Sonoma County in the style of Humans of New York where they interviewed women and created profiles to empower women and girls. They also created a short documentary film by interviewing their fellow high school classmates. Five teenage girls share their inspirations, dreams, fears, challenges and accomplishments in an exploration of independence, authenticity, self-love, and empowerment. <a>In addition, they began the Women of Sonoma County: Legacy Project - Interviewed Molly MacGregor, former member of the Commission on the Status of Women of Sonoma County and founder of Women’s History Week, an effort that eventually became National Women’s History Month.
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