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The Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation (CAASE) is committed to building a global community free from the demand for commercial sexual exploitation. We feel that the sex trade industry is inherently harmful to a healthy society and undermines the dignity of all people.
CAASE believes that a key strategy in stopping commercial sexual exploitation is to eliminate the demand for the sex trade through prevention and intervention. To accomplish this goal CAASE focuses on raising awareness in the general community about the harms of the sex trade; creates and implements preventative programming for youth; participates in advocacy efforts and works in strategic alliances through out the city to accomplish its goals.
The most effective strategy to fight sexual exploitation is to prevent it from occurring. CAASE's prevention work focuses specifically on creating age-appropriate curriculum to bring to high schools throughout Chicago. CAASE is in the process of conducting thorough research to identify and evaluate curriculum on sexual exploitation and trafficking used throughout the world. Using the insights gained from this research, CAASE plans to work with professional educators to create a curriculum on sexual exploitation and human trafficking appropriate to use in Chicago's public and private high schools.
Public awareness efforts focus on raising awareness about commercial sexual exploitation in order to help the public understand the harms that are done to individuals in the sex trade. CAASE has sponsored and organized showings of the plays Becoming Natasha (which highlights the horrors of human trafficking) and Body and Sold (which tells the story of eight prostituted youth) and plans to continue to produce plays that explore the issues of sexual exploitation. CAASE's other planned educational activities include: hosting a film series that addresses issues of violence and exploitation, organizing an art show of art created by survivors; launching a poster awareness-raising campaign; working with Beyondmedia to organize screenings of the film "Turning A Corner" (created by survivors of the sex trade); and lecturing at different conferences, colleges, schools and community groups.
CAASE works to create and support initiatives that intervene in the demand for individuals in the sex trade. Already CAASE has worked with the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) to pass the Predator Accountability Bill which was signed into law by Governor Blagjoveich in 2006. CAASE will continue to work with CCH to support all of its legislative initiatives aimed at curbing demand. To identify best demand-deterrence practices, CAASE is researching the programs and policies of cities throughout the country that are taking a proactive stance against the demand side of the sex trade. Currently, CAASE is spearheading a research project that investigates the cognitive and behavioral patterns of men who purchase sex. Findings from this research will be used to help create and implement effective demand intervention strategies.
- Rachel Durchslag
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