Friday, January 16, 2009

Girls Education & Mentoring Services (GEMS)

Girls Education & Mentoring Services (GEMS)

"Girls Educational and Mentoring Services' (GEMS ) mission is to empower young women, ages12-21, who have experienced sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking to exit the commercial sex industry and develop to their full potential. GEMS is committed to ending commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking of children by changing individual lives, transforming public perception, and revolutionizing the systems and policies that impact sexually exploited youth."

GEMS provides direct service to girls and young women who have been exploited in domestic prostitution rings. The organization was created in 1999 by Rachel Lloyd, who herself experienced commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking. GEMS' philosophy rests on the beauty and worth of every young woman and never falls back on a paternalistic, superior attitude towards the young women and girls they help.

There are a variety of services offered by GEMS including prevention and outreach (street and facility), intervention through legal advocacy, case management, transitional living assistance, and trauma based therapy and clinical support, and youth development in recreational/educational/therapeutic groups as well as youth leadership programs.

Donations can be made through the website or through purchasing merchandise (t-shirts, buttons, and bracelets that state "Girls Are Not for Sale" as well as DVDs and art books), or supporting through purchasing wishlist items and if you're located in New York City volunteering your time and energy.

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