No Such Thing Campaign
In 2015, Rights4Girls teamed up with renowned survivor activist T Ortiz Walker Pettigrew to launch the No Such Thing campaign— a national movement to make clear that there is no such thing as a “child prostitute”—there are only victims and survivors of child rape. The award-winning campaign has not only succeeded in changing our language, but it has also helped change the laws in several states to protect children from being criminalized for their own exploitation.
- Successfully campaigned the Associated Press to revise its Stylebook to instruct writers to avoid using the phrase “child prostitute” or similar terms when reporting about child trafficking victims.
- Succeeded in getting the LA County Sheriff’s Department to commit to ending the arrest of all children under the age of 18 on prostitution charges in LA County—the largest county in the country—and to instead connect trafficked children to services.
- Successfully advocated the LA County Board of Supervisors to unanimously pass a bi-partisan resolution declaring that there is “no such thing as a child prostitute” and encouraging law enforcement agencies to approach child trafficking as they would other forms of child sexual abuse.
- Worked with local partners to pass the “No Such Thing” law in California, rendering all minors under the age of 18 in the state of California immune from prosecution for prostitution and prostitution-related offenses.
Leveraged the campaign to achieve policy wins in Pennsylvania and Georgia, while inspiring several other jurisdictions to make changes to their laws— protecting thousands of trafficked youth across the country.
Shifting the culture— our “no such thing” messaging continues to be used by lawmakers, advocates, and influencers to change the narrative around victims and survivors of child sex trafficking while shedding new light on cases such as that of Cyntoia Brown, Alexis Martin, and other child trafficking survivors that were sentenced to life for protecting themselves against their exploiters.