Research, education, and advocacy sit at the heart of the CJR's strategy to nurture the hope we are called to be in the world.
The CJR maintains an action-research agenda, studying sex and labor trafficking in San Diego.
Dr. Jamie Gates, director of the CJR, was a lead researcher on the Department of Justice-funded research studying the connection between gangs and sex trafficking in San Diego County.
The groundbreaking study, "Measuring the Nature and Extent of Gang Involvement in Sex Trafficking in San Diego," focused narrowly on one of the most understudied aspects of human trafficking in the United States: the relationship of street gangs as facilitators of sex trafficking. Researchers gathered and analyzed data from hundreds of current and former gang-affiliated individuals, schools, law enforcement agencies, and victim service providers.
Data was collected from 1,205 individuals, making it one of the largest, most comprehensive human trafficking case studies in the U.S. to date. This included 156 gang-affiliated persons and/or traffickers, 702 first-time prostitution offenders, 189 survivors from eight victim services programs, and 140 county school administrators and staff. The study is a large-scale model of collaborative research to affect policy and practice, and serves as a national model for future research on human trafficking more broadly. View the full executive summary.
In early 2016, the CJR was awarded a County of San Diego contract to manage a regional human trafficking collaborative research effort in the San Diego/Tijuana region. The Human Trafficking Research and Data Advisory Roundtable (HT-RADAR) facilitates collaboration among researchers, identifies research funding, shares data, and affects decision-making in the region with quality research. Learn more about HT-RADAR and get involved!
kNOw MORE! Human Trafficking Awareness and Prevention Curriculum
The CJR has developed a new curriculum to tackle the challenge of preventing the recruitment of San Diego’s high school students into sex trafficking by targeting the most vulnerable students. Thanks to the support of donors and collaboration with our partners, including the San Diego Unified School District, the County Office of Education, Child Welfare Services, survivor leaders, law enforcement, and others, the curriculum launched in fall 2016.
Beauty for Ashes Scholarship Fund
The Beauty for Ashes Scholarship currently supports four full-time students at PLNU, with several more in the final stages of application for next fall. This scholarship for survivors of human trafficking is providing hope for a better life for victims all over the country. We believe it is stepping into what we do best — providing a college education in the nurturing environment of PLNU — and standing behind and caring for the most vulnerable.
South Africa Study Abroad
The South Africa study abroad program consists of a full semester experience where students will travel together to South Africa and spend part of the program in the northern part of the country, and another part studying in Cape Town. Living in local residents’ homes and experiencing contemporary life in South Africa, students also have the incredible opportunity to visit many of the historic sites read about in class, such as Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned. Other important sites include an AIDS clinic and small business development center, rural and urban schools, and a soccer stadium.
PLNU students have been at the heart of the global movement to end modern slavery. The student movement against human trafficking on PLNU’s campus, led by CJR interns, is affecting the movement in our region and well beyond.
Churches Against Trafficking
The CJR supports the work of Churches Against Trafficking (CAT), a network of local churches that are collaborating to educate and engage the Christian community in the anti-trafficking work in the region.
Abolish Human Trafficking Website
The CJR manages a community website to grow awareness about the region’s efforts to end human trafficking. The website hosts a community calendar, resources, news, and other information to help mobilize our community.
Dr. Jamie Gates testifies for Trafficking Reform Legislation
In April 2016, Dr. Jamie Gates testified on behalf of Assembly Bill 1708, which passed the California State Assembly on a bipartisan 6-0 vote. Under this bill, for the first time, California will treat the purchasing and selling of sex as different crimes, allowing for different penalties. This fundamental change allows a wide range of changes to be made, which improves protections for trafficking victims and creates stronger deterrents for purchasers. Gates' testimony included the findings of the recent research study on the connection between gangs and sex trafficking.
CJR in the News
The work of the CJR frequently appears in local and national news.
Human Trafficking Research
The Department of Justice funded a groundbreaking research project studying the connection between gangs and trafficking in the San Diego region. Led by the University of San Diego and PLNU, the preliminary results of the research were released in 2015 and point toward increased collaboration in the region. The media has responded with increased attention toward human trafficking in our region.
1/16/16: Lawyers Club of San Diego: Human Trafficking a San Diego problem, a Lawyers Club initiative
1/16/16: Refreshed Magazine – Cover Story: Fighting Trafficking: PLNU uses multi-faceted approach to combat sex trade
1/27/16: Setting Things Right – Radio
11/2/16: NBC San Diego: Spotting a Victim
11/5/15: Examiner: Sex trafficking study reveals millions for exploiters recruiting school girls.
11/1/15: KBLK Radio: Gangs, Sex Trafficking and Systemic Racism
10/26/15: AM 760 KFMB: Disturbing new look into sex trafficking in San Diego
Beauty for Ashes Scholarship Fund
The Beauty for Ashes Scholarship Fund was launched in October 2014. This scholarship provides assistance with PLNU tuition expenses for survivors of human trafficking who meet admission requirements for the university. As we grow the Beauty for Ashes Fund at PLNU, we are thankful and excited to see national coverage for the scholarship.
The following are publications that have featured the Beauty for Ashes Fund and PLNU:
Syracuse University's Daily Orange – November 6, 2014
Charisma News – November 5, 2014 (reprint from USA Today)
USA Today – Most Uplifting Stories of the Week – November 2, 2014
Huffington Post – November 1, 2014
MSNBC – November 1, 2014
Washington Post – October 31, 2014
Religion News Service – October 31, 2014
Newser – October 31, 2014
Storify – October 31, 2014
Christian Examiner – October 31, 2014
USA Today, College Edition – October 30, 2014
Lomabeat/Point Weekly (advertising Just Saying event) – October 24, 2014
Nazarene Communications Network – October 23, 2914
Fox News – October 21, 2014
The College Fix – October 17, 2014 - By PLNU student Samantha Watkins
Loma Beat/The Point Weekly – September 14, 2014