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without faithful donors & supporters like you.
FROM THE BOTTOM OF OUR HEARTS, THANK YOU.

*To protect confidentiality, all names of beneficiaries have been changed and stock photos may be used. See our Media Ethics Policy for more information.

RED OAK HOPE is a registered 501c3 nonprofit organization.

© 2019 by RED OAK HOPE

RED OAK HOPE

MEDIA ETHICS POLICY

We want to change the conversation around exploitation, the sex industry, trafficking and prostitution. We recognize that much of the dialogue around these issues is highly sensationalized, very black/white and often paints the picture of "them" as the victims and "us" as the savior.

 

In all of our media and storytelling, we have the responsibility to both educate those we interact with about the reality of the complexity in human trafficking/prostitution as well as honor the women, children and men we interact with. The women we work with are not objects or sad stories to be used in marketing our organization. They are individuals that we are committed to honoring, serving and protecting. 

 

As such, we abide by the following standards with all of our marketing and communication methods including, but not limited to, emails, social media, website, and blogs:

 

PROTECTION

  • We do not post or share identifiable pictures (ie: faces, recognizable features or tattooes, etc) of the women/children we work with, unless they have specifically requested that we do so. 

  • Unless explicitly directed by the woman herself, we do not share a woman’s real name when sharing about her story. Each woman is given an alias that can be used in communication.

  • We do not share explicit or identifiable details about a woman’s case. Vague aspects of someone's story may be shared so that our donors and supporters understand the situations, but nothing that would identify her personally.

  • Only staff with explicit media responsibilities are allowed to post anything related to the beneficiaries we serve-- volunteers are not allowed to share any details related to any case.

DIGNITY

  • We will not refer to the women we work with as “sex-slaves”, or "prostitutes". The situation or occupation these women are currently in does not define them. Instead, we will say that “we work with women in prostitution” or “women who have been trafficked”. We will give them the dignity of being WOMEN above their current profession or situation.

  • The world of sex-trafficking and prostitution is extremely complex. We work both with women who were trafficked and with women who have chosen prostitution voluntarily. As such, we will not present all women as trafficking “victims” (more on that below). Those who have chosen the industry due to whatever circumstance(s) will not be denied their agency of choice.

  • At every opportunity, we will speak of the strengths and resilience of the women we work with instead of focusing on their victimhood or enslavement. 

  • We will not refer to women over the age of 18 as “girls”, but instead will call them “women” or “ladies” as to not be demeaning or misleading.

  • We will not refer to the women/girls we work with as “our women” or “our girls” as to indicate ownership. Instead, we will refer to them as “women/girls we work with” or “women/girls we serve”.

 

HONESTY

  • We will not oversimplify or sensationalize the situations we interact with in order to present each woman as a victim and us as the saviors. 

  • We will not present every story with a “happily ever after ending” thanks to our efforts. We will not cut the women’s stories short by indicating that their future will be rosy or perfect now that she has received our services.

  • We will use the words “rescue” sparingly and only in clear situations where we have stepped in and literally rescued a woman from her boss or situation.

  • We will not refer to every woman in the sex industry as a “victim” or “sex-slave”.  We will refer to the United Nations definition of trafficking in order to determine if a specific woman was a trafficking victim.

  •  If a woman was not clearly trafficked, we can explain the factors that pushed her into the sex industry. However, we will not indicate that she had/has no agency or capacity to act and make her own decisions. We will not make it seem like she is the powerless victim being acted upon as she does have decision making power. 

EXCELLENCE

  • We will seek to be excellent in our communications—relying on up-to-date research and data when discussing the issue of trafficking or exploitation in order to help our community be responsibly aware and engaged.

 

FREEDOM, HOPE AND RESTORATION

  • Freedom, hope and restoration are the foundation of our mission and vision. As such, we choose to focus on this light rather than dwelling on the darkness of any given situation. 

  • Of course, there is space for being honest about the reality of the darkness and despair some women may face, but we will  always seek to provide opportunity for honest hope as well.

This policy was last updated August 2019.

Have questions? Email us at info@redoakhope.org or contact us here