SUDS stands for Stopping Underage Domestic Sex trafficking. There are many kinds of human trafficking, this project is aimed specifically at identifying and reaching minors (Underage) who are being locally (Domestic) exploited for commercial sex (Sex trafficking).
This project is an outreach to the local hospitality industry and to girls and boys being exploited at these locations. We know that hospitality companies value quality care, service, and safety, which is why we want to partner with them to eradicate sex trafficking from their hotels. During our annual SUDS Outreach, teams of volunteers take the following items to area hotels:
- Posters of missing children
- Brochures with sex trafficking information for managers and clerks
- Laminated cards with signs of sex trafficking for housekeeping staff
- Soap labeled with the National Trafficking Hotline
We target missing children because studies have shown that these children are some of the most vulnerable in our nation to commercial sexual exploitation.
- 1 in 3 will be lured into prostitution within 48 hours (National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway and Thrown away Children)
- 90% will be introduced to the commercial sex industry (Estes & Weiner, 2002)
Partnering with the Hospitality Industry
According to BEST Alliance, in a study of police reports of 67 human-trafficking related cases prosecuted in King County between October 2008 and January 2012, 63% of the reports cite hotels and/or motels as locations where the crimes took place.
For some trapped in the sex trade, a hotel bathroom may be the only time they are unsupervised by those controlling them.
We know that hospitality companies value quality care, service, and safety. Some need help identifying indicators of trafficking. Many recognize sex trafficking happening in their establishments but are unsure what to do about it.
SUDS Hotel Outreach is designed to reach both the victims being exploited in these locations and the staff and managers who are on the front lines to recognize and put a stop to this exploitation.