A couple years ago, while I was looking for volunteer opportunities in Milwaukee I stumbled upon Exploit No More.
Exploit No More is a fantastic organization that is looking to end child sex trafficking in Milwaukee.
Most people wouldn’t know this, but not only is sex trafficking a problem in Milwaukee, but it’s practically a hub of sex trafficking in the United States!
Exploit No More is a faith-based organization that partners with several churches in Milwaukee, including my own, Brew City Church.
The biggest priority for Exploit No More is to offer long term rehabilitative care for victims of sex trafficking.
In my own words and what I remember from a conference that Exploit No More hosted, so this may not be the Gospel truth, but that many times police will go in and bust up a sex trafficking ring.
The pimps go to jail and the victims go to, well they go to jail too!
They’re technically guilty of prostitution even though they may have been forced into it from an age as young as 13 years old.
Even if they don’t go to jail, many times they have no where to go and understandably with years of abuse, physical and sexual, they need a safe place they can go to recover emotionally and mentally from the trauma.
According to Exploit No More’s website, exploitnomore.org their work is in three distinct directives.
- We offer programming and resources to build awareness about the child sex trafficking issue in Greater Milwaukee
- We advocate, and mobilize others to support, laws and policies that foster strong, victim-centered outcomes
- We provide long-term residential aftercare to child victims who have been rescued from sex trafficking in the Milwaukee metro area.
The educational part is where I come in.
After I learned about Exploit No More, I thought i’d be an amazing opportunity to offer my artistic services to an organization that was doing such incredible work.
At that time, the director was Katie Linn, and after meeting her, I was all on board to take photos and write the occasional blog and even use their twitter account.
The most significant event I photographed was a large conference they held in the fall at Elm Brook Church. It was their Fall Advocacy Summit.
I was basically given free admission and charged with the task of taking photos. It was a pretty low key assignment, compared to my paid gigs.
But, it was eye opening to hear more about the problem and to even hear real life testimonies from actual child sex-trafficking survivors.
As for the photographs, it was mostly pictures of speakers given the talks. In the main Elm Brook Hall I did take the opportunity to go upstairs into a balcony area and shoot some wide-angle shots of the entire crowd and speaker.
I love those wide all-encompassing shots that give you an overview of everything. Anything that gives the viewer a unique view and perspective is what I call great photography.
Other than that, I’ll let the photographs speak for themselves and if anyone wants to learn more about Exploit No More and educate themselves further about the problem and solutions to this issue, I’d greatly encourage them to check out Exploit No More.
Right now, the organization is raising money to build its own after-care home where victims can get the longterm care that they need after being rescued from these terrible situations. Of course, there are other ways to get involved beside donating money, such as during the holidays they were taking volunteers to temporarily house victims and they also need staffers for conferences and to go around the city educating hotels and other trafficking locales to keep an eye out.
Whatever your talents, they’ll take it!