A collaboration including Sheffield-based Quba, working to expose the hidden world of ‘internal’ sex trafficking, has been short-listed for an award at the upcoming Royal Television Society Awards.
My Dangerous Loverboy, a collaborative voluntary project between digital agency Quba and film-makers Virginia Heath and Grant Keir, uses social media websites such as Facebook and Youtube to raise awareness of a largely undetected crime. Having attracted over 500 fans on Facebook and taken the message into 25 schools in the city, the group could be in line to win the new ‘Best Cross Platform’ Category at the awards ceremony in Leeds on Monday (June 14).
Internal sex trafficking, where young people are trafficked between cities within one country, is estimated to affect upwards of 10,000 women and young people in the UK alone. Many victims are befriended by criminals who gain their trust by buying them gifts and building sham relationships. They are introduced to Class-A drugs and alcohol then forced to have sex with other men and moved around the UK sex trade in gang networks.
By interacting with young people away from the classroom My Dangerous Loverboy encourages young people aged between 12 and 18 to be creative in communicating the campaigns key messages. Through making posters, writing music and shooting their own video adverts the young users help safeguard their own futures by raising awareness in a way which captures their peers attention.
Founder Darren Bristow said: “By taking our message to websites used by young people we have seen how their creative energies can help our message to develop and create real hype, which has been hugely rewarding.
“To be nominated for the award is a great honour but the wider aim is to raise awareness still further and help protect future generations of young people from a life of abuse. Whether we win or lose if more people go online and join our campaign groups it will help us continue to make a real difference.”