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Girls Educational and Mentoring Services’ (GEMS) mission is to empower girls and young women, ages 12–24, who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking to exit the commercial sex industry and reach their full potential.
Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS) was founded in 1998 by Rachel Lloyd in response to an overwhelming need for services for girls and young women at risk for commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking who were being ignored by traditional social service agencies. Ms. Lloyd came to the U.S in 1997 as a missionary to work with adult women exiting the commercial sex industry. While working with adult women in correctional facilities and on the streets, Ms. Lloyd observed the overwhelming need for services for young women at risk for sexual exploitation who were being ignored by traditional social service agencies. It became clear that specialized services were essential for this disenfranchised population.
From a one-woman kitchen table project, GEMS has grown to a nationally recognized and acclaimed organization and now is one of the largest providers of services to commercially sexually exploited and domestically trafficked youth in the US. GEMS advocates at the local, state, and national level to promote policies that support young women who have been commercially sexually exploited and domestically trafficked.