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The truth about prostitution and sex trafficking? There’s nothing victimless about it.

On any given day, over 16,000 women and girls are prostituted in the greater Chicago area. The vast majority of these women entered the sex trade after fleeing abusive homes, often while still in their teens. The average age of death for a prostituted woman? A heartbreaking 34 years old.

These are just a few of the facts that prompted The Voices and Faces Project to create "The Ugly Truth," an End Demand Illinois (EDI) public service campaign. "The Ugly Truth" is a multi-media advertising campaign that seeks to raise awareness of the harm inflicted on women who are trafficked or prostituted, while calling the public to clear and measurable action on their behalf. Created through a dialogue with our partners at the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation, who are currently working to pass critical anti-sexual exploitation legislation in Springfield, "The Ugly Truth" campaign seeks to create a measurable change in public attitudes about trafficking and prostitution in Illinois, and serves as a model for coordinated policy and media efforts in other states. The campaign will launch in Chicago, Springfield and Rockford the week of 4/1, with a large scale media buy that will generate over 76 million audience impressions each month, during the campaign's three month duration.

EDI Logo
What is End Demand Illinois? End Demand Illinois is shifting law enforcement's attention to sex traffickers and people who buy sex, while proposing a network of support for survivors of the sex trade. Along with CAASE and The Voices and Faces Project, EDI partners include Polaris Project, the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, Cook County Sheriff's Women's Justice Programs, DePaul University, and the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

Ugly Truth Print

“Lasting changes in public policy occur when public attitudes shift as well," notes Voices and Faces Project founder Anne Ream, who spearheaded our End Demand Illinois communications campaign. "The 'Ugly Truth' campaign is provocative and fact-based - and it needs to be. We created it to get people talking about the realities of the sex trade in Illinois, and our shared responsibility in ending it."

Collaborating to create change: The Voices and Faces Project and our partnership with Kinetic Worldwide.
David Krupp
"The Ugly Truth" campaign was created through a unique partnership between The Voices and Faces Project, and Kinetic Worldwide, a WPP media company with a strong local and international media presence. Kinetic's engagement was critical as we developed a creative and media strategy that would allow us to reach opinion shapers, policymakers, and the general public "where they are." "Kinetic USA President David Krupp and the entire Kinetic team worked closely with The Voices and Faces Project to help us create a campaign that marries the best of the non-profit and for-profit worlds," notes Aimee Noffsinger. "We have been inspired by Kinetic's vision, their extraordinary professional generosity, and their clear belief in our project and this work."

Get engaged: Make our campaign your campaign.
  • DOWNLOAD print ads from the campaign and check out "Ugly Truth" street, outdoor and radio ads that are running right now.

  • READ EDI Advocacy Director Lynne Johnson's 3/31 Chicago Sun-Times opinion piece calling for an end to felony prostitution charges in Illinois.

  • CHECK OUT an interview with Kemery Bloom of the Lakshmi Foundation, to find out why she has chosen to support our "Ugly Truth" campaign.
You complete us.
Kemery Bloom
We are grateful to – and wowed by– our brilliant "Ugly Truth" team of Anne K. Ream, Katie Feifer, Tom Grosspietsch, Nobuko Nagaoka, Cami DiMauri, Aimee Noffsinger, R. Clifton Spargo and Jean Fox Robertson at The Voices and Faces Project; David Krupp, Emily Sanner and Maureen McCloskey at Kinetic Worldwide; Donovan Weyland at Chicago Recording Company; John Kistner at Leo Burnett USA; Lynne Johnson, Kristin Claes and Rachel Durchslag at CAASE; Kemery Bloom at the Lakshmi Foundation; and our friends and allies at NoVo Foundation. Special thanks also to the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation for their ongoing support of our Voices and Faces Project work.

To find out more about our "Ugly Truth"campaign and our Voices and Faces Project work creating communications and storytelling efforts that create change email
We'll keep standing up and speaking out until the violence ends. But we can't do it without you. Please support our work.
The Voices and Faces Project, recently named one of "America's Best Charities" by the board of directors of Independent Charities of America, has been recognized by the United States Department of Justice as part of the "new generation" of anti-violence leaders. We're working to change minds, hearts and social policy by helping survivors to tell their stories and by introducing those stories into the public square. We need your support to continue our work.

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