The Omega Project: Combating Sex-Trafficking
Apr 26, 2023
Sarah Cestnick
The Omega Project: Combating Sex-Trafficking

At the age of 17, an acquaintance of mine was sold into sex trafficking by her boyfriend, and no one knew until she escaped four years later through the help of a local anti-trafficking organization. Shortly after learning about my friend, a headline exposing a local restaurant and mansion owner for sexual assault charges stole the front page of our city’s news, sending shock and helplessness throughout our city. Even though I was fortunate to grow up in a safe and inclusive community, I was extremely ill-prepared to face the threats of grooming. It was then that I first realized the magnitude of this issue and noted the lack of resources that were available to the public. 


The world has changed so fast through the rise of technology, that the foundations of interpersonal communication have shifted – impacting how relationships of various kinds are developed and maintained on a global scale. Through this shift, national education systems have failed to properly pivot and address these changes. This means that teachers, parents, guardians, and communities are unable to properly educate our youth against the predatory acts of others (families and strangers alike). Because of this, trafficking has risen 317% in the past 12 years. I believe that education is the first step to not only slowing this rise but also preventing future cases. Education is also essential in restoring whole communities that are a target by the criminal organization for their complacency.

While participating in the 2022 Miss World Canada pageant, I decided to stand for our communities and provide the public with easy and accessible educational resources on this topic through the creation of The Omega Project.