Pivot: Empowering Trafficked Victims

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Pivot provides rescue information to female human trafficking victims without detection by their captors. Ordinary-looking sanitary pads are distributed by activists and healthcare providers to suspected victims. Hidden inside each pad is an insert printed on water-soluble paper with rescue information and a trafficking hotline number. Victims access the insert in the privacy of a restroom, detach the phone number (disguised as a fortune-cookie tab), and flush the rest of the insert in the toilet, allowing the victims to safely carry the necessary information with them until they are mentally and physically ready to seek help.
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February 24, 2014
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The product, an ordinary women's hygiene product distributed through local service providers identified with our co-design organization, is intended to support careful, effective communication.
In the privacy of a restroom away from their traffickers, victims will find a discreet piece of paper tucked into a feminine care product so as to not arouse the suspicion of their traffickers.
With a woman's safety in mind, the outside of the outreach material contains simple instructions and prompts meant to encourage a woman to read its message and throw away the unnecessary portion.
Using words and graphics, which allow semi-literate and literate victims without much private time to quickly understand the communication, information and a small disguised tear-off are dispensed.

Pivot addresses some of the challenges of outreach by attempting to access hard-to-reach populations through targeted but wide distribution to at-risk communities. Contrary to the myth of "rescue" by outsiders, Pivot encourages women to consider their situation and seek conclusions and resources on their own when ready.


Working with the Washington Anti-Trafficking Response Network, we developed a design and distribution channels that discreetly provide targeted individuals with crucial information that will enable them to leave their captors and seek help from qualified support when they are psychologically and physically ready.

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