Executive Director's Address

Dear Friends and Supporters,
Welcome back and I hope you all found moments to escape, enjoy and relax in August. Several of our FAIR Girls staff took much needed breaks to recharge our batteries this summer as well! However, as Fall is upon us and back to school is in full swing, it naturally turns our reflection and attention to learning, growing, and educating. As you already know, FAIR Girls provides a continuum of services that are essential to our mission of ending human trafficking, one life at a time. However, at the core of all of our programs lies one commonality: education. We truly believe that human trafficking cannot be eradicated without effective prevention education. This is why we continually strive to educate our clients, community partners, schools, parents, youth, churches, and government officials about the realities of human trafficking - i.e., what it looks like and what it doesn't, risk factors, and resources available.
To paraphrase a poignant observation from one of our case managers: “As direct service providers working with trafficking survivors, we spend most of our time at the bottom of a turbulent river, throwing a lifeline to survivors to help bring them to safety. But it is equally important for us to stand at the top of the river to prevent them from falling into the rapids in the first place.”
Through our Prevention Education and Outreach Program, FAIR Girls raises awareness regarding human trafficking and the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) by training community and government partners regarding identification strategies and best practices, as well as by directly training our youth. Our highly experienced and trained staff work to present trauma- and survivor-informed training's and curriculum. This program is vital to the work we do.  
Advocates and lawmakers in D.C. recently acknowledged the significant need for this type of trauma-informed curriculum in local schools when the D.C. Council passed the School Safety Omnibus Act of 2018; it requires that all D.C. Public Schools and Public Charter Schools implement training, prevention, and policies to better identify, prevent, and address child sexual abuse (including CS EC) and student-on-student acts of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and dating violence. FAIR Girls has covered these topics for over a decade in our prevention education curriculum, Tell Your Friends, including discussions of consent, healthy relationships, boundaries, exploitation, risk factors and identifiers, and trauma-informed best practices. 
Tell Your Friends is a four module, multimedia prevention education curriculum pioneered by FAIR Girls over a decade ago and taught in local public high school and junior high school classrooms, after school programs, youth shelters, and group homes. The curriculum motivates youth to keep themselves safe from exploitation and trafficking and to become peer educators to “tell their friends” how to do the same. FAIR Girls updated our Tell Your Friends curriculum over the past year to ensure that it remains evidence-based as well as relevant, fresh, and engaging for our youth. As we head into the coming school year, FAIR Girls will be working through partnerships with local schools in the DMV to ensure that the youth in our communities receive this critical prevention education.
As a leading anti-trafficking service provider for over fifteen years, FAIR Girls continues to be in high demand to conduct Human Trafficking 101 trainings, which focus on earlier identification and trauma-informed treatment of youth and adult victims of human trafficking and CSEC, designed for law enforcement partners, government agencies, school personnel, detention facilities, hospitality industry partners, faith-based organizations, and community service partners. Additionally, over the last year, FAIR Girls has partnered directly with police officers in DC, Montgomery County, and Prince George's County to provide immediate crisis intervention during law enforcement anti-trafficking operations and strategic street outreach in an effort to provide education and access to life-saving resources and services to survivors. FAIR Girls has been exceptionally grateful for the opportunity to partner with our law enforcement and community-based service partners to share this critical information.  
I invite you to consider the ways you too can help raise awareness about human trafficking in your own communities by reaching out to FAIR Girls’ Director of Programs, Shannon Sigamoni or supporting this program by purchasing supplies or making a donation. I also encourage you to promote FAIR Girls to your networks as an anti-human trafficking expert and resource for training and prevention education. Maybe consider having us provide a specialized training at your next church gathering, social group outing, youth group gathering, industry conference, or organization retreat. For more information, e-mail us here. Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.

Join FAIR Girls today in being a catalyst for change through prevention education!

Wishing you the best,

Erin B. Andrews
Executive Director
Your Impact in Action
During National Human Trafficking awareness month this past year, FAIR Girls had the pleasure of teaming up with Karl Racine and the Office of The Attorney General for the District of Columbia, to educate youth at Johnson Middle School. It is a powerful thing to see in a child's eyes when the light bulb go off as they learn the realities of human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation, and are provided the tools they need to help keep themselves safe. The conversations that we had that day with the middle school students were rich and engaging, offering their opinions and perspectives on the topics, debunking the "myths" of "the Life," and learning the red flags to be aware of. One middle school girl, "Imani," shared that she had been messaged by an unknown male on her open Instagram account in response to one of the pictures she posted and didn't realize how risky that could be and would be changing her privacy settings right away. Helping youth see the risk factors that can leave them vulnerable, how to protect themselves on the Internet, and what healthy relationships should look like are necessary tools for them to learn in order to ensure that they remain thriving children, and not victims. The powerful impact of this critical prevention education could been seen that day, and every day that FAIR Girls steps into a classroom to conduct these trainings, as the youth began to recognize the warning signs they had witnessed in their own friends and family in risky situations, reflected on different choices and resources available, and shared their feeling of empowerment as they were now armed with tools on how to “tell their friends” and family how to stay safe. Specialized, trauma-informed, evidence-based education is the key to preventing exploitation in our communities in the first place. That is why FAIR Girls remains committed this coming school year to educate as many local youth in schools and in our community so that more of our children, like Imani, have the tools they need to stay safe from exploitation. 
FAIR Girls Staff Spotlight
  Shelby Hettenbach 

Prevention Education & Outreach Specialist 

What is the most rewarding part of your work with trafficking survivors? 

"The most rewarding part of my work with survivors is watching them not need FAIR Girls anymore. I love seeing them take the tools and skills that they are able to learn and practice here and utilize them without being prompted. It is gratifying knowing that they will be able to go from our services and be prepared and able to maintain successful, independent lives."
What do you think FAIR Girls means to the survivors we serve?

"I think for a lot of the survivors we serve, FAIR Girls is a space where they can meet their basic needs without fear, or uncertainty or judgement and be able to work on the harder things like self-esteem, emotional stability, and positive goal setting."

Why is prevention education and outreach so vital to our work?
"As a person who has worked with this population, I can say that the emotional, mental, and physical trauma imposed by human trafficking is some of the worst complex trauma imaginable. The survivors we work with are so resilient and I see them do amazing things on their healing journey but, no one should ever have to be that resilient. Prevention education and outreach is vital, not only to teach youth and those that work with youth warning signs and risk factors to avoid traffickers, but also to provide context for youth who may one day be faced with the choice of being a trafficker or a john. If we educate youth and show them the hurt trafficking can cause, we are not only reducing the number of survivors but also the number of perpetrators."
Donor Spotlight
The Peterson Companies at National Harbor 
(Chris Borgal)
Why does The Peterson Companies at National Harbor support FAIR Girls?
"The work and dedication of FAIR Girls is such an admirable and noble endeavor. As the Developer and Manager of National Harbor – a large scale mixed use destination / resort with more than 3,000 hotel rooms - we distinctly understand that Human Trafficking is a very important issue for our times.  Any support that we can help offer either through the Peterson Foundation’s Charitable contributions or from working on training programs with FAIR Girls has a meaningful correlation with what we believe is an important responsibility for us.  If we can support helping those impacted and work with our hotel partners in creating more awareness and giving them actionable tools to use then we believe it helps in the “good fight” that FAIR Girls is dedicated to."

What has been your experience with FAIR Girls' program, including our prevention education and training program?
"To date our experiences have been beyond positive working with Erin and team. The initial training program at National Harbor was a resounding success and the inclusion of the County’s States Attorney’s Office provided for a much greater awareness for our hotels managers and security teams.  Even though the hotels are part of national chains and receive training – all involved believed this to be a superior education for them."
Considering the intersection between the hospitality industry and human trafficking, why do you consider prevention education and training so important to your industry?
"It is exactly that intersection that made our connection with FAIR Girls so valuable and rewarding.  Our hotel partners want to make sure that their teams are as fully aware and as fully trained as possible in recognizing human trafficking.  The training we started with FAIR girls will hopefully work towards helping not only in recognizing it but putting the hotels in a positon to better understand how to help and know how to respond."

What would you say to others that may like to support FAIR Girls prevention education and training efforts?
"In a world of good works, good efforts, and good fights it can be challenging on what to focus on and who to support. In the case of FAIR Girls – their commitment and dedication is unwavering and their spirit unbreakable. Those attributes are contagious and our teams and hotel community are better for the connection and education they’ve provided. If anyone is on the fence about offering support – please don't hesitate to reach out to me directly."
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FAIR Girls has provided more than 1,000 girls and young women with safe housing, client- centered, trauma-informed direct services, and life skills they need to transition from victim to survivor, in pursuit of our mission to end human trafficking, one life at a time.

Our mailing address is:
2021 L Street NW #101-254
Washington, D.C. 20036

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