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January 9, 2014
(For Immediate Release)
Massive Billboard Campaign Combatting Human Exploitation & Trafficking of Children Unveiled
Oakland, Ca.—Today, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley introduced a public awareness campaign that directly confronts the epidemic of human trafficking and sexual exploitation of children. DA O’Malley unveiled billboards and bus shelters that will blanket the city of Oakland in an effort to raise awareness of the staggering number of commercially sexually exploited children in the city and to offer help to those same children.
The FBI has designated the San Francisco Bay Area as a “high intensity child prostitution area,” and Oakland is one of the centers of such criminal activity. This form of modern-day slavery is a local and national epidemic and it is imperative that the public realize that children who are forced into selling their bodies are victims of child sexual abuse.
“Our message is loud and clear,” states District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley. “Our community will not tolerate the sale and purchase of children for sex. Every citizen must be informed about the crisis and understand how to be a part of the solution. Every exploited child must be offered a way out that is safe and immediate. The billboards and posters that are appearing throughout Oakland this week are one important step towards putting an end to this crisis.”
The billboard and bus shelter campaign is the result of a collaboration between the District Attorney’s Office, MISSSEY and Clear Channel Outdoor.
“Clear Channel Outdoor has a longstanding history of leveraging its unique position as a highly visible and unskippable medium to aid causes, like this public awareness campaign, that share our goal of keeping our children, families and communities safe,” states Bruce Qualls, VP of Real Estate and Government Affairs for Clear Channel Outdoor. “Reaching and engaging people with life-saving safety messages through our digital billboards, traditional billboards and bus shelters when they are away from home is an important tool in helping prevent the next child from being taken. We believe these messages could be pivotal in rescuing victims and bringing their traffickers to justice.”
The creative team of Suzanne Boutilier, Genice Jacobs, Tom Page and Jed Davis assisted, pro bono, in the design of the images and the writing of copy for the posters. For additional information on Human Exploitation and Trafficking, please visit the District Attorney’s website: www.heat-watch.org. The H.E.A.T. Watch toolkit is found at: toolkit.heat-watch.org.
Read more news stories about today's press conference here:
Contact: ADA Teresa Drenick
Alameda County District Attorney’s Office