A team of eight Bachelor of Child Studies (BCST) students and Dr. Marlene Kingsmith have partnered with Bryan Hume, the Safe Directions coordinator at Hull Services, to host a sexual exploitation awareness conference and resource fair. In this capstone course, the students are responsible for planning, organizing, and facilitating the conference in their final year of their degree.
The students are pleased to invite you to attend the Sexual Exploitation Awareness Conference and Resource Fair at Mount Royal University on April 25 and 26, 2016.
Why this conference?
We believe sexual exploitation is a huge and growing issue in Alberta and Calgary and needs to be in the forefront of community awareness. A Government of Alberta (2004) statistic states: “the average age of entry into the sex trade is 15.6 years. Some children begin as young as age 10.” A more current statistic from Detective Paul Rubner (2015) of Calgary Police Services states, “the average age of children and youth currently being exploited in Alberta is 13.5,” making awareness of the issue even more critical.
The objectives of the conference are:
- To Explore the extent of sexual exploitation in Calgary & Alberta
- To Learn to recognize individuals at risk
- To Advocate for change
The Resource Fair will be available throughout the two days with resources and connections available for various services and supports for victims and those who work with victims. A panel presentation on tuesday morning will provide an opportunity for the conference participants to gain knowledge of the many issues related to sexual exploitation. The panel will consist of experts in the area of exploitation, for example, Calgary Police Service, Protection of Sexually Exploited Children’s Act (PSECA) workers, and a young adult previously involved in the life.
As advocates for vulnerable children, youth and families, your attendance at this conference will enhance awareness and contribute to the change we hope to accomplish in spreading the word.
Where to go?
The conference is being held in the Leacock Theatre in the main building of Mount Royal University. There are three main entrances – West Gate, East Gate and Recreation Entrance. There will be students and signs at each entrance directing people to the Theatre. Workshops will be held in classrooms – direction information will be provided at the conference. We look forward to seeing you there.