Sacramento Non-Profit Hosting Fundraiser to Aid Exploited Young Women

(CBM) – A Sacramento-based non-profit, A Community for Peace, is hosting a fundraiser in partnership with Child Protective Services and local law enforcement to help provide support services for victims of domestic and sexual abuse. The fundraiser, called “A Celebration of Hope,” will be held at the Citrus Heights Community Center on Oct. 6.

According to A Community for Peace Executive Director Elaine Whitefeather, the money raised will go towards creating a licensed foster family agency and safe-haven network of family homes for sexually exploited young women. The event will also honor members of Child Protective Services and the Citrus Heights Police Department.

Whitefeather says sexual exploitation is a big problem in the Sacramento area and links the issue to domestic violence. Often times, she says, young children are removed from homes because of domestic violence and put into foster care. Whitefeather explained that in many cases, young girls are not happy in foster environments, so they run away and end up living in the streets where they are sexually exploited.

“What happens to our girls is directly related to domestic violence,” said Whitefeather. “The predominant victims in the Sacramento area are African-American and Latinas.”

Many victims are barely out of childhood. Whitefeather says they could be as young as 10, with the average age being 12. Now, many street gangs are exploiting young women sexually, added Whitefeather.

“Sexual exploitation has replaced drug revenue for gangs,” she said.

Former professional basketball player and Olympian Ruthie Bolton is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the fundraiser. Bolton, a domestic abuse survivor herself, recently toured the center and was asked to speak at the event by some of the residents. She quickly agreed.

Bolton is also the author of “From Pain to Power.” In her book, Bolton recounts surviving for more than a decade inside an abusive marriage. She also told the story in an ESPN film called “Mighty Ruthie.”

“She (Bolton) was one of them,” said Whitefeather. “The survivors asked her to come.”

Whitefeather said the fundraising goal is $50,000. To find more information about the event go to www.acommunityforeace.org.
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By Manny Otiko
California Black Media