Fleming College partners with local photographer on new initiative to combat sex trafficking in the region

Peterborough ON – (March 25, 2021) – Fleming College is partnering with Heather Doughty, photographer and creator of INSPIRE: The Women’s Portrait Project, to pilot a unique project designed to combat sex trafficking in the Eastern Ontario region. Together, the project team will create a series of photographed portraits of the survivors of sex trafficking with accompanying narratives. Using quantitative and qualitative analysis of focus groups and in-depth interviews, the portraits will be incorporated into awareness initiatives and education materials targeted towards helping those most at risk of being trafficked.

“This project is deeply important to Fleming, our students and our community. We want to empower survivors, dismantle myths, and prevent sex trafficking of individuals. With our partners, we will create a powerful and innovative tool to combat this deeply-rooted, and often hidden, crime. The Fleming community is grateful to the federal government for their support on this important issue” said Fleming College President Maureen Adamson.

Part of the project’s uniqueness is its close connection and involvement with survivors to share their stories. Using images and content co-created with survivors, the project aims to feature survivors from groups most at risk, specifically those who are female-identified, Indigenous, Black, Trans, and those from care systems. The educational material produced will include spotting the signs of trafficking and entrenchment, recognizing grooming and luring tactics, as well as information on how to seek support or report suspected cases. “When we share our stories, we see the human in the person,” said Heather Doughty.

Funding for the four-year project, approximately $300,000, was awarded from Public Safety Canada’s Contribution Program to Combat Serious and Organized Crime, and was announced on March 15 by the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and the Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. The project team will work closely with several local agencies and organizations, such as the Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre and Niijkiwendidaa Anishnaabekwewag Services Circle, survivors, advocates, and youth care homes to gather firsthand data related to sex trafficking. Other supporting organizations, including CYC Assets and Corus Entertainment, will provide the project team with web hosting and communications support.

Leading the project team is Heather Sago, coordinator of Fleming College’s accredited Child and Youth Care (CYC) program, and students and graduates will be involved in this project. The CYC program prepares students for a career providing in support for the diverse unmet needs of young persons, their families and communities. Students apply the principles of relational practice, designing, implementing, and evaluating care and intervention plans. Fleming’s CYC program has a unique stream of courses related to children’s mental health, trauma, including sexual exploitation and sex trafficking, and advocacy. The program also features the Indigenous Perspectives Designation option.

About Fleming College
Fleming College respectfully acknowledges that we are situated on Michi Saagiig Anishinaabeg lands and territory. Located in the heart of Central Ontario, Fleming College has campus locations in Peterborough, Lindsay, Cobourg and Haliburton. Named for famous Canadian inventor and engineer Sir Sandford Fleming, the college features more than 100 full-time programs in Arts and Heritage, Business, Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences, General Arts and Sciences, Health and Wellness, Justice and Community Development, Skilled Trades and Technology, and Continuing Education. Fleming College has more than 6,800 full-time and 10,000 part-time students, and 80,000 alumni.

For more information, please contact:
Amar Shah
Communications Officer
705.749.5530 x 1370

Sutherland Campus
599 Brealey Dr. Peterborough ON K9J 7B1
Ph: (705) 749-5530
Frost Campus
200 Albert St. S., Box 8000 Lindsay ON K9V 5E6
Ph: (705) 324-9144
Haliburton Campus
P.O. Box 839 Haliburton ON K0M 1S0
Ph: (705) 457-1680

Web: flemingcollege.ca
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