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San Marcos High School ~ Santa Barbara, CA

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San Marcos Hope4Her Club Spreads Awareness About Sex Trafficking

Lila Westmacott
Members of the club Hope4Her at their table during club rush.

Hope4Her, a new club here at San Marcos, is a non-profit organization addressing the issue of sex trafficking of girls in Santa Barbara. 

“We are raising awareness about sex trafficking within teenage girls in Santa Barbara, and in the club we will have lots of opportunities for students to learn about this issue and help fundraise for organizations in Santa Barbara addressing this problem,” said sophomore Kelsey Rowe, co-founder of Hope4her. 

Hope4Her partners with Hope Refuge, an organization that serves the developmental needs of girls affected by sex trafficking, both current victims and survivors. Since 2017, there have been 229 survivors of sex trafficking identified in Santa Barbara. Of these survivors, 30% are younger than 18 years old and 41% are Santa Barbara residents, according to Megan Rheinschild, the Director of Victim and Witness Programs at the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office. Hope4Her plans on having guest speakers come to meetings to discuss issues of sex trafficking of teen girls around Santa Barbara. The club will organize fundraising for this program outside of school, and each month will donate the profits. 

The meetings are held the first Tuesday of every month, and will include self defense training lessons, public speaker mentoring, and lots of information to spread awareness throughout the San Marcos community.

“Club rush was amazing, we had 109 sign ups, and we are hoping a lot of the people who came and signed up learned new things about this topic and show up to the future meetings,” said Helton.

Hope4Her has an instagram account where you can receive new information and updates about the club. Follow the club at Hope4her_sb. The founders of the club hope to spread awareness to the San Marcos community about this issue, and also hope to work with Hope Refuge to try to make Santa Barbara a safer environment for everyone. 

“We hope to educate the community about this issue in Santa Barbara, because it happens a lot and is something everyone should know about,”, said sophomore Samara Shalhoub, co-founder of Hope4Her. 

Attend Hope4her club meetings to help spread awareness to the Santa Barbara community. There will be snacks provided at each meeting, and it will create a safe space where we can bring the San Marcos community together.

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