Looking Forward: A Letter from Thorn’s CEO

By February 13, 2015 Deterrence No Comments

We’re excited to share with you what we have planned for 2015, but we first want to reflect on the amazing progress that has been made in the last two years thanks in large part to your support — this is the impact you have been a part of.

To date, we have reached more than two million people through our programs and participated in potentially life-saving moments for at least 200 victims of sexual exploitation. This has happened through our online deterrence programs, through our partnership with Polaris Project on the BEFREE text shortcode, through our Spotlight tool and through our work with industry on initiatives such as the Sound Practices Guide and shared hash program.

This is just the beginning. Our team at Thorn is inspired, focused and dedicated to tackling many untapped opportunities in the upcoming year to drastically improve the battle to end child sexual exploitation.

In 2015 our goal is to use new technologies to improve our efforts to identify victims and connect them with resources, to deter predatory behavior and to disrupt environments where this abuse takes place.   Here is what that will look like:

  • We will identify more victims, faster, and we will connect them with the best possible resources. This means we’ll increase our support of the BEFREE text short code with Polaris and invest in new ways to market that outreach code directly to potential trafficking victims. Also, we’ll be making our Spotlight tool available to first responders nationwide to help them identify sex trafficking victims more quickly and connect with them with the resources they need to intervene successfully.
  • We will deter more potential offenders than ever. Our deterrence programs have reached over a million people to date, and we’ve just scratched the surface. Our crucial next step is leveraging technology to more quickly reach potential consumers of child abuse imagery with deterrence messaging and reduce the amount of people seeking and trading this content online. We will also start to explore new technologies to help identify victims represented in this content more quickly.
  • We will increase our ability to innovate. We are focused and committed to investing in new research, recruiting the best talent to get new technical expertise focused on the issue and creating deeper engagement with innovative companies that can contribute to this goal.

Our supporters are fundamental to building a brighter future and achieving our mutual vision and goals. We thank each of YOU for your commitment and continued engagement to help us have an impact on the lives of some of the most vulnerable children in the world.

Thank you for being a digital defender of children. We know these are tough issues to face and we are grateful that you choose to stand with us, face these realities, and be part of the solution

Julie Cordua
CEO
Thorn