In 2011, English literature students at T.C. Williams High School, Virginia, were inspired to create a mural and raise money for survivors of forced sexual exploitation. After reading Sold by Patricia McCormack, a novel about sex trafficking in India, the students wanted to do something to combat slavery.
At the centre of the mural is a quote by Eli Wiesel, the writer, professor and political activist who survived the Holocaust. Surrounding the quote are the students' hand prints - for every hand-print placed on the wall, students made a $3 donation and the students raised over $100.
The proceeds went to Courtney's House, an organisation that helps survivors of sex trafficking. The charity was set up in 2008 by Tina Frundt, a survivor of sex trafficking, and fights to protect children from sexual exploitation. The charity provides counselling, medical treatment, food, clothing and toiletries to survivors of sex trafficking.
Erin Neff, Assistant Project Manager of Courtney’s House, visited the students and explained that the organisation's name allows survivors to say they are 'just going to Courtney's house'. Neff also told teachers that the organisation has helped survivors who have come from T.C. Williams High School, emphasising the fact that the sex trafficking of children is 'something that happens in our backyard.'