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How MN Girls Are Not For Sale Drove Collective Impact

MN Girls Are Not For Sale | WFMN

MN Girls Are Not For Sale was an eight-year campaign of the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota to galvanize resources to end the sex trafficking in Minnesota. The success of the MN Girls campaign and critical impact it has had on the work to end sex trafficking is undeniable. With cross-sector leaders, the Women’s Foundation has invested $7.5 million and driven a sea change in our communities’ response to this unconscionable crime.


2010 – Women’s Foundation of Minnesota convenes more than 100 leaders from all over Minnesota to create a strategic, multi-sector plan to combat child sex trafficking.

2011, November – The Women’s Foundation launches MN Girls Are Not For Sale campaign to galvanize resources to end sex trafficking in Minnesota.

2011, July – Passage of Safe Harbor changes state laws to ensure that children under 18 years of age who are sold for sex are no longer criminalized, but treated as victims of a crime in need of safe housing and specialized services.

2013 – Between 2010 and 2013, the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office, a MN Girls grantee-partner, reports that charges and convictions against sex traffickers in Minnesota increased by 76 percent — from 17 in 2010 to 72 in 2013.

2014, August – Creation and implementation of No Wrong Door model resulting in the following outcomes:

  • Increased housing and trauma-informed care for victims, from two beds in 2011 to 48 beds as of May 2016.
  • Established a statewide director of child sex trafficking prevention at the MN Dept. of Health; eight regional navigator positions to connect trafficked children with the shelter, support, and services they need; and a training fund for law enforcement and prosecutors.
  • Issued state grants to select nonprofits for housing and trauma-informed care for child sex-trafficking victims across Minnesota.

2014, September Mapping the Market for Sex with Trafficked Minor Girls in Minneapolis:
Structures, Functions, and Patterns
is published – a first-of-its-kind research and approach to understanding how the overall market for juvenile sex trafficking manifests within communities in one city, Minneapolis.

2015, May – The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act passes, modeled in part on Minnesota’s Safe Harbor.

2016, MaySafe Harbor eligibility increases from age 18 to 24.

2016, May – The Foundation passes an additional $2.5 million to support police investigations and a policy provision to increase penalties for perpetrators apprehended during the course of undercover operations is now included in the Safe Harbor law.

2016 – MN Girls Campaign is extended. As a result of the campaign’s success and community demand for continued progress on this issue, the Women’s Foundation’s Board of Trustees extended MN Girls to a second three-year phase based on stakeholder input and calls from the community for the Foundation’s continued leadership.

2017 – Convictions of sex trafficking perpetrators nearly tripled through increased law enforcement investigations and prosecutions.

2017 – Since 2013, the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office (MN Girls grantee-partner) has trained more than 2,000 law enforcement officers on protocols it developed with statewide partners about child sex trafficking and how to proceed in a victim-centered approach.

2017, August Mapping the Demand: Sex Buyers in Minnesota, new research commissioned and funded by the Foundation is published. The report examines the demographics of Minnesota’s sex buyers, their buying tendencies, and methods of entry into the marketplace. Mapping the Demand will be used to influence policy, policing, and service provision. The research will be instrumental in allowing communities to create action plans that understand the market, create points of prevention and protection for youth vulnerable to sex trafficking, and end the demand.

The Future

The focus of the second phase of MN Girls Are Not For Sale is to:

  • End the demand for sex trafficking
  • Create prevention strategies to reduce vulnerability to sex trafficking
  • Increase visibility, outreach, and services to targeted, underserved communities.
  • Build systems and infrastructure to sustain movement to end sex trafficking

The campaign continues through March 31, 2019.

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