Sexual Exploitation Prevention Education for Indigenous Girls
Indigenous girls in Western Canada comprise over half of the victims of sexual exploitation, but the gravity of this phenomenon is overlooked in education and academia. Five Indigenous sexual exploitation survivors and 19 service providers in a western Canadian city were interviewed to critically examine the life experiences that establish pathways to exploitation, methods of recruitment, and prevention education recommendations to inform school-based interventions. Based on these interviews, nine pathways to sexual exploitation for Indigenous girls were uncovered, most notably sexual abuse, transition from reserves, and the prison system. This article summarizes a study conducted from 2014–2016 (Louie, 2016), which found that an extensive range of gender, age, race, and class backgrounds in Canadian society contribute to Indigenous girls being recruited into sexual exploitation. At present, most research and education programs emphasize intervention, missing a key opportunity to prevent recruitment into sexual exploitation. This study has generated a potential framework for schools to establish prevention education for Indigenous girls experiencing an increased threat of sexual exploitation.
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