Ami Carpenter, PhD, and her groundbreaking research on human trafficking are featured in a newly released seven-episode documentary series from NBC 7 called “STOLEN.” The series is the result of a year-long investigation by NBC 7 on sex trafficking and the exploitation of children in San Diego County.
Carpenter, an associate professor at the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies at USD, shared how it felt to be a part of the NBC 7 series and see her research used.
“(I’m) proud and hopeful. Proud because this study delivered facts and numbers that service providers needed and used to argue their case for funding, and that California legislators used to pass over 30 new laws. USD is a Changemaker campus, and my field is about making positive social change, so I’m proud of the positive impact of this study. I’m hopeful because five years ago, we wouldn’t have seen journalism like this,” said Carpenter.
Carpenter is featured in episode two of “STOLEN,” where she is interviewed by NBC 7 reporter, Monica Dean, alongside Jamie Gates of Point Loma Nazarene University, to discuss the team’s research from a 2016 study they co-authored titled, “The Nature and Extent of Gang Involvement in Sex Trafficking in San Diego County.” Carpenter’s research is also featured within the article for episode three of “STOLEN.”
“I hope people see that to end this assault on youth, we have to go after the buyers. The laws have to be tougher and they have to be enforced,” said Carpenter. “If you are a parent who wants to know more, including how to talk to your child about their social media presence, and predators on social media, the San Diego Trafficking Prevention Collective has a video just for parents.”
Carpenter’s work and research on human trafficking has had a large impact locally and statewide. Looking ahead, it will provide an even greater impact with the creation of a new USD-led initiative called Partners Against eXploitation (PAX), which launched this year. PAX is the culmination of two years of work to create a platform at USD for learning, educating and working on human trafficking and exploitation.
— Elena Gomez