Throughout my tenure here at Fordham University, I’ve learned about many great non profit and advocacy organizations in New York City. One such organization is the Girls Educational & Mentoring Services (GEMS), which serves girls and young women who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking.
GEMS, which has a relationship with Fordham’s Graduate School of Social Service’s Institute of Women and Girls, was founded in 1998 by Rachel Lloyd, who had been sexually exploited as a teenager. GEMS has helped hundreds of young women and girls, ages 12–24, who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking to exit the commercial sex industry and to develop to their full potential.
Any notion I ever had about prostitution was completely changed one day when I covered a Fordham / GEMS event where a young girl talked about how an ex-boyfriend forced her into the lifestyle and GEMS helped her get out. It’s a form of human trafficking, though not in the traditional way people tend to think of trafficking in developing nations.
GEMS and Fordham’s Institute of Women and Girls are co-hosting an event called, “Before,” on June 28, from 6 to 8 p.m., at Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus. You can RSVP here.
“Before” is an evening of original monologues written by GEMS staff and fellows preformed at Fordham University’s Pope Auditorium. There will also be a survivor created art show and light refreshments.
For more information, visit GEMS website here.