For Immediate Release:
Tuesday May 22nd, 2012
Contact: Stacy Erenberg 312 513 1399
Young Women’s Empowerment Project releases their NEW RESEARCH entitled DENIED HELP! How Youth in the Sex Trade & Street Economy are Turned Away from Systems Meant to Help Us & What We are Doing to Fight Back
Our Participatory Action Research (done by youth in the sex trade ages 12-23) shows how and why young people in the sex trade and street economy are being turned away from institutions set up to help.
Special Press Briefing
When: May 29th 3pm via Webinar
Time: 3pm-4pm CST/4pm-5pm EST/1pm-2pm PST
When: Thursday May 31st, 3pm-5pm
Where: Jane Adams Hull House 800 S. Halsted
What: Young Women’s Empowerment Project will give an interactive, multi media presentation that explains their BAD ENCOUNTER LINE findings, and how YWEP is organizing young people to change the way Chicago sees and treats it’s homeless home free and street based youth.
The BEL findings demonstrate how institutions such as police, hospitals, social services and schools are harming young people they are supposed to serve and protect. The data from the BEL findings shows many themes of police sexually assaulting youth because of their gender, sexual identity, or lack of ability to fight back for being in the sex trade. One story is “ …in a sting set up by the cops. [the officer] got violence with me, handcuffed me and the raped me. He cleaned me up for the police station and i got sentenced to 4 months in jail for prostitution.” – anonymous Bad Encounter Line entry
The BEL research was done using a participatory action research model created by and for young people directly affected by the issue of institutional violence and neglect. The BEL data and stories from girls in YWEPs constituency were turned into a zine released quarterly. The BEL research report highlights the finding from the BEL zines collected in 2011.
The BEL report comes from our 2009 research findings which discovered that young people are being denied help from organizations based on their involvement in the sex trade and street economy. because they are homeless, because they are of color and or/ lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. The research also found that resilience is a stepping stone to resistance. YWEP created a campaign to build their own resilience and resistance to institutional violence and to change policies in place that allow us to be denied help in the first place.
For more information about the BEL research release please contact Stacy Erenberg 312 513 1399