Mackenzie Moore, Advocate and Graduate
During my sophomore year at Mount St. Mary’s University, my Human Rights professor introduced my class to the “Half the Sky,” documentary. In the documentary, authors Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn address one of the most heinous and multifaceted issues affecting women and girls globally, by sharing the stories of young Cambodian sex-trafficking victims. It is the powerful testimonies of these young girls that inspired me to utilize my education as a means to understand and end sexual exploitation. In my studies thus far, I've conducted a comparative study on state governments’ response to prostitution. With the countries I chose to research, I found a significant correlation between the legalization of prostitution and high numbers of sex-trafficking cases. From this discovery, I was able to critique the inconsistences of the international community in addressing sex-trafficking, and argue for a global consensus to prohibit prostitution. Consequently, I now have a desire to combat sexual exploitation through international education and collaboration.
In pursuit of making an impact, post-graduation, I began volunteering at my local rape crisis center. In preparation for my role as an advocate:
1. I researched current domestic law and polices, affecting both survivors and perpetrators of sexual crimes
2. I subscribed to local, state, and national non-profit organizations, such as, MCASA, HopeWorks, and Polaris mailing list, to ensure I knew what policy changes were to be expected from U.S. government
3. I read international journals of law, public policy, and medicine; allowing me to identify the short comings of government funds and resources, as well as the effects of sexual trauma
4. I attended socio-political seminars, watched documentaries, read primary books (i.e. “Slavery Inc.: The Untold Story of International Sex Trafficking)”, and reviewed Maryland’s 'Safe Harbor Workshop' Final Reports
5. I completed MCASA’s online training for education and counseling professionals: “Recognizing and Preventing Child Sexual Abuse,” April 13th, 2017
6. I completed the Baltimore Child Abuse Centers, “Mandated Reporter Training,” August 30th, 2017
Now, I confidently provide survivors of sexual violence with crisis intervention, resources and referrals, conduct risk assessments, develop survivor safety plans, and deliver trauma informed/ victim centered responses to survivors.
With my overarching goal, to make ground breaking discoveries and raise awareness, comes the subset goal of furthering my education. I have been awarded the opportunity to earn my MA, in “International Politics and Human Rights,” at City University London, academic year 2018/19. In following, I have also been awarded the opportunity to study my second MA, in “Understanding Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse,” at Goldsmith’s University, academic year 2019/20. I take my right to education seriously and am committed to utilizing it, in order to create a foundation, in which all people, specifically marginalized individuals, can prosper in safe conditions.
While at City and Goldsmiths, I aspire to do more than partake in world-leading research, field work, and further my understanding of sexual exploitation. I am eager to participate in outreach programs, cultural events, and student activism. Similarly, I look forward to utilizing their centers for research and attending seminars where I can gain the perspectives of experts in varying fields tackling sexual violence. It is my objective to not only excel in my programs, but also be an integral part of my schools communities.
With your donation and the opportunity to further my education, I plan to identify and apply efficient prevention, intervention, and control education strategies in my field. Consequently, allowing me to advocate for victims, deter sexual aggression, and stimulate social interventionism.
It is my objective, to use what will be taught in these programs, in my prospective career combating sexual exploitation. I have set forth the following goals:
1. Identify gaps across public and private sector programs, in order to efficiently allocate funds and resources to victims (i.e. crisis beds and shelter)
2. Educate coordinated response teams on providing appropriate “exit” therapy to survivors of sexual violence (specifically law enforcement officers)
3. Develop more efficient legal protections for youth victims of trafficking
4. Improve the standards of handling forensic evidence (i.e. rape kits)
5. Encourage governments to increase the legal penalties of johns, pimps, and traffickers; as means of a deterrent.
6. Coordinate activities for child victims of sexual violence, in order to assist in their coping and development.
I have had a significant amount of time to reflect on myself, develop my skills, and the relevant needs in this field. With your help, I will be able to lift my finaicial burden, recieve the education of a lifetime, and most importantly make a meaningful impact in the world!