It has been another great week for tremendous, positive media attention on anti-sex trafficking efforts in Minnesota. I am thrilled to share the results of our continued leadership to end sex trafficking, which has generated highly visible and positive media attention for the Foundation and our impact.
On Wednesday, we participated in a press conference to release a new study, “Mapping the Demand: Sex Buyers in Minnesota,” that provides insight toward developing a nationwide model to combat sex trafficking. Learn more here ›
The research, commissioned and funded through our MN Girls Are Not For Sale fund, was conducted by Dr. Lauren Martin, director of research at the University of Minnesota’s Robert J. Jones Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC). Participating with us at the press conference was Matt Kramer, Vice President for University and Government Relations, University of Minnesota; Dr. Martin; Lauren Ryan, Safe Harbor Director, Minnesota Department of Health; and Drew Evans, Superintendent, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. This coalition grows stronger with every opportunity to share our groundbreaking work together.
At the conference, we shared a unified message that this report is one key to creating targeted strategies that disrupt the sex-trafficking market and end the demand. To be successful in this fight, we must educate and engage boys and men as leaders in this movement, and commit to a future of safety, opportunity, and respect for all girls and women in Minnesota.
The Star Tribune led the day with the article, “First-ever U Study Analyzes the Patterns of Sex Buyers in Minnesota.” We also saw stories from USA Today, St. Cloud Times, MPR, KSTP, and Forum News Service, with articles picked up by many additional outlets across the state.
“Mapping the Demand” is a follow-up to a previous University study also funded by the Women’s Foundation, “Mapping the Market for Sex with Trafficked Minor Girls in Minneapolis” (2014), which charted the market for juvenile sex trafficking within communities in Minneapolis.
This week’s press conference was a terrific victory in expanding the visibility of this issue and bolstering public understanding. Together with community, WE make this work possible. Thank you for your commitment to making a safer Minnesota.
Lee Roper-Batker, President & CEO