Lena Dunham Helps Victims of Sex Trafficking Find Hope

Lena Dunham Helps Victims of Sex
Billy Kidd for Variety

Lena Dunham is one of Variety’s Power of Women New York honorees. For more profiles on the honorees, click here.

Lena Dunham wasn’t aware of the horrors of sex trafficking until recently. But from the moment she heard about Gems from her friend Audrey Gelman, Dunham knew she wanted to shine a spotlight on the non-profit that helps victims of commercial sexual exploitation in New York.

Billy Kidd for Variety

“What attracted me so much to the cause is that I’m a feminist and I’m a sexual assault survivor,” says Dunham, the star of HBO’s “Girls.” “I felt that it was important to me to not just call attention to the circumstances (around) which I was assaulted on a college campus, but also to call attention to sexual-abuse survivors who have far less of a public voice.”

Girls Educational & Mentoring Services was started in 1998 by British activist and author Rachel Lloyd. “There hasn’t been enough awareness and education,” says Lloyd. She notes that society often considers these women lazy outcasts instead of helpless victims. Once a low-income teenager falls into the world of sex trafficking, it’s almost impossible to start a new life, but that’s where Gems comes to the rescue. Last year, 371 women and girls sought the organization’s services, which includes counseling, housing, legal help and job coaching.

“There are so many girls, particularly in urban areas, who are born to parents who may be drug addicted and violent,” Dunham says. “These pimps are waiting at the bus to tell these girls, ‘You seem amazing. I love you and want to be your boyfriend.’ What feels like a loving relationship turns into them being forced to go out and make a living. What’s happening is rape. It’s statutory rape by the most basic definition.”

Dunham has been working with Lloyd to build a library for Gems.

“This is an important organization,” Dunham says.

Lloyd is grateful for Dunham’s voice. “It’s helpful because she has a platform,” Lloyd says. “Our young women, while traumatized and abused, have incredible potential.”

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  1. Boo Rhodes says:

    Does she blame people who aren’t really doing it for doing it like she blamed that one guy for rape and lied about it?

  2. MoMan says:

    This is sick. This chick is a virus.

    • Alethea says:

      Please everyone, send an email or call or FAX this organization. they have a contact page online. Tell them that allowing Dunham to be a part of sex trafficking, which is a horrifi crime, would be detrimental to the victims of sex trafficking. Lena Dunham herself said she did to her little sister, ““basically anything a sexual predator might do to woo a small suburban girl.” The photo Lena Dunham posted of her little sister on Instagram is enough to send a victim of sex trafficking into a fit of rage.

  3. Alethea says:

    Lena Dunham is NOT a survivor of sexual assault. According to her own words in her book (read her account of that night) it was consensual sex. Lena Dunham is a self-admitted child molester, who wrote about, and spoke openly -and with jokes and titillating words- about the sexual abuse and psychological abuse, she perpetrated on her little sister for ten years. As an adult, Lena Dunham has also used her Instagram account to post disturbing sexual and abusive photos of her then 5 year-old, and pre-pubescent sister,. Lena Dunham does not belong in any organization, or as a voice, for any organization that has anything to do with rape.

  4. Candice says:

    She’s trying to fix her image…after being caught in a lie about being raped. We don’t trust anything she says now.

  5. WomenAgainstDunham says:

    The woman who raped and molested her little sister is helping sex trafficking victims. THAT is rich.

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