Chelsea’s Story: Sex Trafficking in Waterloo Region Ontario is reputed to have the highest level of human sex trafficking in Canada, harbouring 70% of all human trafficking activity, in part due
Chelsea’s Story: Sex Trafficking in Waterloo Region
Ontario is reputed to have the highest level of human sex trafficking in Canada, harbouring 70% of all human trafficking activity, in part due to highways such as the 401 and the QEW that allow for quick movement between cities.
Most people think human sex trafficking is an “international” issue of smuggling people in from other countries. In fact the majority is sex trafficking, specifically child sexual exploitation, which is a domestic issue and the problem is growing.
Sex trafficking occurs when people are recruited, coerced, or deceived into providing sex services. In 2015, Police found 27 cases of trafficking in Waterloo region; 26 involved sexual exploitation. 93% of trafficked victims in Canada are girls around the ages of 12 to 15. This problem is far larger that we know with most cases being unreported.
We need to understand human sex trafficking so we can mobilize efforts to prevent it. This takes an “all hands on deck” approach.
JM Drama Alumni, working in partnership with the Waterloo Region Crime Prevention Council (WRCPC) and the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region (SASC), is producing a community play to start a broader dialogue about this issue that in turn will hopefully lead to some upstream prevention measures.
Chelsea’s Story written by Sean McGrath from AlterEgo Creative Solutions UK is a compelling saga that will be the centrepiece for a series of outreach and educational opportunities around human sex trafficking. The goal is to increase awareness and mobilize community and its services to prevent our children from being victimized in the first place.
“AlterEgo’s Chelsea’s Story is an innovative and powerful production highlighting the very serious and emotional issue of child sexual exploitation. The production shows how young people, boys and girls, are groomed by adults for the purposes of sexual exploitation using various methods, ensnaring young people and eventually taking complete control and dominating their whole lives. The audience will gain a better understanding of the devastating impact that sexual exploitation has on a young person’s life. This is a very useful and innovative way of raising awareness of the issues relating to sexual exploitation and reaching young people, giving them some skills and knowledge to be able to protect themselves from this form of abuse.”
– Sheila Taylor, National Working Group for Sexually Exploited Children and Young People, UK
Performances will run from February 21-24, 2019 coinciding with Human Trafficking Awareness Day at The Registry Theatre, located in downtown Kitchener, Ontario.
The community theatre production of Chelsea’s Story will be augmented by a series of outreach activities into the community both before and after. School aged children will be a particular area of focus. Strategic outreach to youth at risk will bring members of the community to the theatre that are unlikely to engage in the arts otherwise and often struggle with social challenges that are not always well understood.
Partnerships will be the key to the success of this endeavour; it is only through meaningful interaction with local stakeholders, both individuals and organizations, that we can foster shared ownership of the project, and generate a collective response to the complex problems we face in our communities.
(Friday) 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
The Registry Theatre
122 Frederick St.