Too Close to Home
An awareness campaign about sex trafficking called Too Close to Home is now in development. This will include a feature film, documentary and other awareness materials. The campaign will:
There is a general perception in society that all women who prostitute themselves do this of their own free will. But for many women this is simply not the case. Every year the number of women forced or coerced into the sex trade grows dramatically. The $150 billion dollar, worldwide business is so lucrative that many drug rings have turned to human trafficking instead of dealing drugs. Think about this fact: A drug can only be used once; how many times a day can a young woman be forced to have sex? The disturbing answer is twenty to thirty times per day!
You may ask, "How does this affect me"? According to the Department of Education Fact Sheet on Human trafficking, “Contrary to a common assumption, human trafficking is not just a problem in other countries. Cases of human trafficking have been reported in all 50 states”. Human trafficking is right on your doorstep. It’s too close to home! The number one city for trafficking is Atlanta. Interstate I-85 is a well-known corridor for individuals being trafficked north to other cities. According to Law Enforcement in Greenville, South Carolina, “In the Upstate, 7 out of 9 women in the sex industry are currently being trafficked or have been trafficked in their past”.
According the National Trafficking Resource Center there have been more than 2000 cases of trafficking in the U.S. in 2015. Unfortunately, within our present legal system, the victim is usually the one who is prosecuted and the client walks away free. The Internet has greatly increased the demand for pornography and consequently for prostitution. But if the law were to criminalize the buyer, demand would rapidly decrease.
The truth is that demand continues to grow and trafficked domestic girls get younger and younger. Under federal law, any minor under the age of 18 years who is induced into commercial sex, is a victim of sex trafficking—regardless of whether or not the trafficker used force, fraud, or coercion. In 2014, 1 out of 6 runaways reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children were likely victims of child sex trafficking. With 100,000 children estimated to be in the sex trade in the United States each year, it is clear that something has to be done.
We need to educate people about the problem - especially our children. In order to do that we plan to produce a feature film and documentary film to create awareness and to motivate people to action.
This film will tell the story of three women from entirely different backgrounds who were trafficked in different ways across the USA. The documentary will be produced so that it can be shown in segments or as a complete film. We realize that this can be a tool for many advocates to use at speaking engagements and we plan to make it available for use free of charge. The film is currently in the research and development phase.
The Feature Film
You may ask, “Why a feature film"? The answer is simple. One of the best ways to ways to grab the attention of the audience is through storytelling. A movie is not simply entertainment. Movies are built around characters and their stories. Communication experts have studied the social affect of media for decades. Research has proven that audiences often identify with characters and they even experience events emotionally as if they were happening to them. The individual interpretation of these experiences, therefore, has social and educational impact. We strongly believe that if enough concerned citizens are motivated to action our legislators will have to respond with appropriate laws to curb demand by providing tough sentencing for offenders.
Behind the Story
The content of our feature film script has been devised to include many of the points relevant to sex trafficking awareness. By doing so, we will be able to stand behind the film as a product that will be suitable as an educational tool for high schools, universities, churches and public service organizations. To ensure the accuracy of this information, human trafficking survivors, awareness organizations and law enforcement are vetting the script. For example, we address the alarming trend for traffickers to engage with school children by what is called call a “Romeo pimp”. This is a trafficker who uses sweet gestures, gifts and romance, appearing to be the perfect boyfriend. These attractive young men will also target vulnerable girls via social media. Awareness of this current problem is essential for both children and educators.
Title: Too Close to Home (Based on true events)
Type: Theatrical Motion Picture
Genre: Drama/ Thriller
Runtime: 115 min
Possible Locations: TBA
Script Log Line
When a suburban teenage girl falls for a charming older boy, he betrays her into the hands of brutal sex traffickers and a world she never knew existed.
Strife is rampant in the Moore’s home as new stepfather Gary lays down the law of his convictions. But feisty teenager Kristin has had too many changes thrown at her and when her mother also sides against her, she runs away from home.
Unaware that her boyfriend is really grooming girls for the sex trade, Kristin is betrayed into the hands of sex traffickers. She is locked up with a Ukrainian girl named Aleksandra who tells her how cruel men have abused her for two long years. But more surprisingly, Kristin learns that the only thing that has sustained Aleksandra though her ordeal is her faith in God.
Ashamed of her shallow outlook on life, Kristen is convinced she must help to bring an end to Aleksandra’s nightmare. But time is running out for both girls. Kristen will soon be shipped to Saudi Arabia and because Aleksandra is HIV positive, JC, the gang leader, orders his younger brother Dave to kill her and dispose of her body. But Kristen cleverly plays on Dave’s conscience and he refuses to murder Aleksandra.
In a showdown with JC, Dave sides with the two girls. But in an act of terror, JC brutally murders Aleksandra in front of him. Infuriated, Dave attacks his brother and as they scuffle he shoots him. Dave grabs Kristen and they make their escape. But JC isn’t finished. A bulletproof vest saved his life. He calls in reinforcements and the whole gang chase Kristen and Dave.
But unexpected help comes in the shape of Kristin’s stepfather. Gary is full of remorse for the way he treated Kristen and with the help of a detective has picked up the traffickers trail. A desperate phone call reaches him from Kristen as she and Dave run for their lives. With the help of police, Gary and the detective lead the traffickers into a trap and rescue Kristen and Dave.
Phase 1 - TV Promotion: The documentary will be released for television screenings and promoted via the Internet. This mass media campaign will be accompanied by social media engagement, stories from survivors and significant press coverage.
Phase 2 - Cinema Events: After building interest and momentum in phase 1, the feature film will be screened in cinemas across the USA. Screenings will be arranged in cooperation with cinemas, advocacy organizations, churches, schools and universities. The screenings will be promoted as “special events” via Internet, social media and grass roots organizations. These events will be used to motivate volunteers to get involved and to fundraise for partnering advocacy organizations.
Phase 3 - Grassroots Education: Both films will be used as an educational tool at the local level. The scripts are being developed so that the films can be shown in episodes on DVD that deal with specific topics for discussion. The ideal length of each of these segments will be 20 minutes. This will provide educators, organizations and churches the perfect companion to illustrate presentations and discussions. This adaptive version of the films will ensure they can be shown in schools and churches, therefore having a longer product life and deeper impact on grass roots society. Working with advocacy groups, we plan to develop supplemental materials for discussion and action to enhance the use of these powerful dramatic tools.