Project Dawn Review: The growing trend in sex trafficking in Atlanta

Exploring behavioral health on new levels

By Kimberly Bryant October 25, 2017

Project Dawn (review) and why it matters.

The Horizon Theatre Company is ending their 2017 season with the play Project Dawn.  This riveting production explores the lives of multiple women who have been victims of sexual, verbal and physical abuse.  This story brings forth the collision of being sex trafficked, molested and or sexually abused as a youth and the lives they move on to live.  I took my fifteen-year-old son to see this play with me and I'm glad I did.  As a theatre kid, he is surrounded by individuals who are struggling with their identities and self-worth.  It opened up an amazing dialogue between us that closed the gap between wondering how my teen feels about tough topics and having facts about the world we live in.

The show itself takes place in a courtroom.  While the characters take on multiple roles throughout the production their individual stories and various synopsis' of things that happened to them in the past, all collide in the courtroom.  As these survivors of some of the most horrific acts done to children and teens have to fight for their freedom, and even their mental stability we are exposed to the long-term effects of abuse as a child.  This amazing cast brings you into their world.  We are exposed to mental health issues, lack of care and the repercussions of a failed system that continues to enslave victims while their abusers get off.

The horizon theatre offers this synopsis:

This story offers perspective, reflection, and we hope- makes a difference in this community since commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking is still a huge problem in Atlanta. Now in its 33rd season, Horizon is a respected professional, contemporary theatre in an intimate 172 seat theatre in Little Five Points. Our mission is to connect people, inspire hope, and promote positive change through contemporary theatre and the stories of our times, and with this play, we hope to spark community dialogue about commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking in Georgia.

Project Dawn was open until October 28, 2017, however you can check out the upcoming Holiday Shows at the Horizon Theatre!

Why is this important to me?

My son and I stayed for the Q&A after the show and the information we received was astounding.  When an audience member asked how do we know where this is going on in Atlanta, the answer was eye-opening.  Our moderator stated that anywhere we see Strip Clubs with extended stay motels is probably a good indication that there is activity.

We all want to think this would never happen to me, nor around me.  However, I would like to raise the question, when was the last time you drove down Fulton Industrial Blvd?  Right near the I-20 exit, I urge you to look at the businesses that are along that stretch. 

Why should I care as a parent?

Did you know the most heavily trafficked kids/teens are in the LGBT community?  These kids are often seen as outcasts in their homes and communities.  When they don’t think they have anywhere to turn, this life becomes a source of survival.  Most teens live double lives in an effort to not disappoint their families, but secretly they are slowly dying on the inside.  The suicide rate for young people in the United States is up 40 percent in a recent survey.

These young people are hiding in plain sight.  We may be passing them in the grocery store, on the street and especially in the airport.  CNN has offered this article on how to spot child trafficking in the airport.

To truly understand how this epidemic is affecting our communities I encourage you to read these articles:

Human Trafficking is a Growing Problem in Atlanta

Ga prepares for SuperBowl side effects: Sex Trafficking

60 arrested in Ga during FBI led child sex trafficking operation

The REAL Project Dawn

We understand that this is a problem, and its a problem within the walls of the Douglasville-South Fulton territory.  Now we have to ask what can we do?  Who is helping these kids and who's stopping the Johns?

The horizon theatre did a phenomenal job with supplying its patrons with literature on multiple organizations in the metro Atlanta area that want to help bring this to an end.  You can click on their links below:

A faith based nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower change in the life direction of women and girls who are adult entertainers, prostitutes, escorts, porn stars, or victims of sex trafficking by offering a holistic approach as well as an educational, emotional, physical, and spiritual support.

Atlanta Redemption Ink
Provides minors and women who have had gang symbols forced on them, sex trafficking brandings forced on them, self-harm scars, domestic violence scars or tattoos and have them removed by a reputable certified removal specialist OR give them an opportunity to have it replaced by a cover-up that symbolizes freedom, beauty and redemption in a safe environment.

Beloved Atlanta
The only two-year residential home & program for adult women surviving prostitution, trafficking and addiction in Atlanta, GA

Billion Rising
Works to end the sexual and gender based violence and inequities that disproportionately effect women and girls. Focuses on building, supporting, and amplifying the work of Atlanta-based collaborative relationships that produce local to global actions that make a positive difference, building community through collaborative Art.

(770) 427-0147
Devereux Georgia’s Residential CSEC Program provides sophisticated treatment for girls from around the country who have experienced emotional, physical and sexual trauma.

Dress for Success
Offers long-lasting solutions that enable women to break the cycle of poverty. Dress for Success is part of a global movement for change, empowering women to obtain safer and better futures.

Haven ATL
Dedicated to serving women who have fallen victim to commercial sexual exploitation in the Metro Atlanta area through prevention, education, case management, and outreach.

House of Cherith
Serves as a safe and refreshing home for victims of sex exploitation and trafficking. The goal of House of Cherith is to provide women with the opportunity for rescue, restoration, and a chance to start a new life.

Southern Crescent Sexual Assault Center
Providing a collaborative, coordinated community response in an effort to reduce the incidence of child maltreatment and sexual violence though prevention, intervention, and education.

Wellspring Living Women’s Residential Program
Provides trauma-informed care to survivors of Domestic Sex Trafficking and those at risk with the service of physical, emotional and spiritual restoration

Innovator in transforming the lives of youth at risk for exploitation and abuse, and a thought-leader in reducing child exploitation and sex trafficking rates in Georgia and across the country.

Rescuing Hope
Enlightens the public about sex trafficking in America, educates potential victims and first responders, and empowers advocates and survivors.

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