There is a considerable lack of awareness of the issues that lead to commercial sexual exploitation and human trafficking. How much better it would be if people were prevented from entering the swiftly downward spiral of being trafficked and exploited?
“Prevention refers to efforts intended to stop the perpetration of unhealthy, harmful, dangerous, and illegal behavior and acts, as well as victimization and re-victimization by others. These efforts include developing the attitudes, knowledge, skills, behaviors, and resources necessary to promote individual and community health, safety, and wellbeing.” (www.atsa.com)
The Daughters of Bulgaria Foundation is involved in targeted efforts of prevention and raising awareness within Bulgaria, categorized on three levels:
- Primary Prevention, before commercial sexual exploitation / trafficking. Our volunteers are involved in countless one-on-one conversations, give educational seminars and workshops in group settings, sponsor and participate in summer camps for at-risk youth, and distribute printed relevant resources. Through intervention, counseling, and street outreach, youth and women are challenged to understand that commercial sexual exploitation is unhealthy, harmful, dangerous and often illegal
- Secondary Prevention, immediate response to victims of sexual exploitation/trafficking. DofB Outreach Intervention teams work to address the needs of women suffering sexual exploitation, do their best to reduce and prevent the potential harmful effects of sexual exploitation, and offer networked opportunities for assistance if requested.
- Tertiary Prevention, long-term response to victims of sexual exploitation / trafficking and for those who work with them. The Rose Garden Program of the DofBF addresses the ongoing consequences suffered by women who have been sexually exploited / trafficked, with the goal of wholistic healing to prevent them from succumbing to victimization and to break the cycle of prostitution and sexual abuse.
Crossing all three levels of prevention, are the issues involved with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD is experienced by both those who are directly traumatized as well as by care-givers who experience vicarious trauma. DofB offers training opportunities to many people including social workers, social service providers, church members and pastors, business leaders, the general public and volunteers, and professionals involved with sexually exploited/trafficked youth, women and their children.