$5,000 grant awarded as part of the Just Beginnings Collaborative We See You Fund
San Francisco — August 10, 2020 — This summer, San Francisco-based child protection organization Prostasia Foundation received a $5,000 grant from Just Beginnings Collaborative (JBC), a donor collaborative focused on supporting survivor-centered efforts to prevent and heal from child sexual harm. Prostasia will use the funds for several activities geared toward online prevention and service delivery.
The first of these is a free app to enable the administrators of compatible online chat services to identify and remove child abuse images from their groups. The app, which works with the open source chat software RocketChat, was first developed by Prostasia for use in an online forum for those who admit to being sexually attracted to minors and who are seeking help with mental wellness and the prevention of offending.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has seen an increase in reports of online sexual abuse, including the distribution of abuse images," said Prostasia's Executive Director, Jeremy Malcolm. "This new tool helps ensure a supportive, safe space for people seeking assistance and gives them peace of mind regarding triggering imagery. This forum and app aim to tackle the problem of child sexual abuse at the source, by centering education and support resources for those at risk of offending."
In addition to this strengthening of online safeguards through expanding the chat-scanning app, the JBC grant will help Prostasia hire licensed therapists to join their own online forum, enabling both peer and professional support, and enable further outreach to create new partnerships with Internet platforms, thus establishing MSC as a trusted referral destination for those seeking help.
Prostasia's Program Manager Meagan Ingerman said, "The JBC grant is a show of support for our approach to the prevention of abuse, rather than just prosecuting perpetrators after a child has already been harmed. We will also be using this grant to fund community outreach, and to ensure that professional therapeutic support is available to those who need it."
By supporting a trusted and secure peer support forum dedicated to the prevention of sexual offending against minors, and maintained in partnership with mental health professionals, Prostasia aims to produce a measurable reduction in online offending during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
About Prostasia Foundation
Prostasia Foundation is a child protection organization that was formed as a direct response to the passage of FOSTA, by a group of sex workers, experts, activists, and survivors of child sexual abuse (CSA). We believe that our society's predominantly reactive approach to child protection is too often harmful to children and other innocent people, and to our constitutional values. Prostasia is dedicated to taking a more evidence-based, prevention-focused approach to protecting children, that is inclusive of sex workers, LGBTQIA communities, and other sex-positive groups such as sex educators and the consensual kink/BDSM community. The organization does not work toward the abolition of pornography or adult sex work, nor does it condemn consenting sexual behaviors between adults. Prostasia also focuses on debunking and advocating against approaches to the problem that are entirely carceral or censorship-based, or which suggest that only one sector of society (eg. Internet companies, or the criminal justice sector) are responsible for addressing the problem.
For further information:
Link to Rocketchat CSAM scanning app
Jeremy Malcolm (Executive Director)
+1 415 650 2557 – [email protected]
Prostasia's website: https://prostasia.org