Posts in 2018
Youth Experiencing Homelessness are Vulnerable to Sex Trafficking in Kentuckiana

Recent scholars have noted that homelessness is a risk factor for sex trafficking (Hudson & Nandy, 2012), but much remains unknown regarding the prevalence and correlates of sex trafficking—knowledge critical to identifying needs and later intervention opportunities for young people who are sex trafficked and experiencing homelessness. This presentation highlights findings of a recent prevalence study conducted by researchers from the University of Louisville, which surveyed young people experiencing homelessness throughout Kentuckiana receiving services at nine homeless service provision sites throughout the region. Kentuckiana contains the metropolitan areas of Kentucky and Indiana, including eight counties in Kentucky and five counties in Southern Indiana. The study utilized the Youth Experiences Survey (YES), a self-report measure that includes questions regarding demographics, place of origin, living situation, family connection, drug and alcohol use, trauma history, and physical and behavioral health history. Findings indicate that approximately 41% of reporting youth experienced sex trafficking. Furthermore, while all reporting youth and young adults face a myriad of physical and behavioral health concerns, youth and young adults who were sex trafficked emerged as having uniquely problematic experiences. Additionally, 70% of youth who were trafficked reported social media and various technologies were involved directly in their recruitment and sale. This has important implications for homelessness service provision sites, as well as the broader system of care that serves these youth and young adults. Findings can assist organizations in developing innovative, trauma-informed intervention and prevention programs focused on combatting sex trafficking among young, vulnerable populations. Such efforts are key to enhancing service provision and ultimately, to reducing the prevalence and consequences of sex trafficking.

Presentation Objectives:

·  Pinpoint populations that are most at-risk for human trafficking.

·  Describe the scope of sex trafficking in Kentuckiana and ways in which technology is used to facilitate commercial sexual exploitation.

·  Identify the most common types of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) of youth who have been trafficked.

·  Single out the ways in which the service needs of sex trafficked homeless youth vary from the service needs of non-trafficked homeless youth.

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The Injustice System: The Role We Play

This presentation will take a critical look at the justice system and how individuals are impacted based on their demographics, culture or socio-economic status. This presentation is to bring awareness and process solutions based on our individual roles and will include an open discussion. The presenter will draw on research from ACLU, local court cases, and high profile cases.

Presentation Objectives:

·  Present statistics of mass incarceration and its impact on the community.

·  Explain the misrepresentation of police in impoverished neighborhoods.

·  Present case studies.

·  Dialogue about the role we play to bring about change.


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Maddy’s Story: An Individual’s Journey in Substance Use

This presentation will utilize the film "Maddy's Story" to demonstrate one individual's journey through onset of substance use, progression of use, treatment, and ongoing recovery. The film will explore how substance use has impacted the individual who is using and their relationships with their family as well as other interpersonal relationships. The presentation will explore prevention of substance use, what to expect during treatment, and the ongoing process of maintaining sobriety and developing a recovery oriented lifestyle.

Presentation Objectives:

·  Explain the importance of prevention, treatment, and ongoing recovery efforts.

·  Describe the influence of environment and peers on risk of substance use.

·  Discuss the disease model of addiction.

·  Explore various treatment models including detox, inpatient, outpatient, and recovery housing.

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Knowing and Living Your Mission: Getting Involved and Staying Involved in Social Justice Work

There is something happening around the world. The “Me Too”, “Black Lives Matter”, “LBGTQ Rights”, “March for Our Lives” and the “Anti-Trafficking” movements are sending a message that the time is now to get involved. This workshop will inspire and challenge you to identify a clear mission or dust off your personal and professional mission. The presenter will identify those tools, talents, and skills needed to stay on track and turn your mission into your reality. The audience will be asked to engage in personal and professional assessments of themselves currently and interventions of where they want to be and what they want to do, based on their assessments provided. The field of social justice is open and waiting for you to put your skills and talents into daily practice to help others and make your mark on the world.

Presentation Objectives:

·  Identify the personal and professional mission of professionals in the audience.

·  Lead the audience through assessment and intervention of their practice within the lens of social justice practice.

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Light into Dark Places: Art and Healing

This panel is a combination of consumer artists who have engaged in art interventions as part of mental health treatment. The artists will share what inspired their work and how art has been a helpful tool in coping and recovery. This panel is an analysis of the exhibit of the same name on display here at the 15th International Human Trafficking and Social Justice Conference. This is an example of how community mental health centers can collaborate together to raise awareness about the strengths of those with mental illness and disrupt common myths about those categorized with a diagnosis.

Presentation Objectives:

·  Consider how communities can honor and respect the insights of those with mental illness.

·  Identify the impact of art interventions on healing.

·  Demonstrate the power of creative writing, art, and photography in raising awareness about injustice.

·  Counter stereotypes about mental illness and understand how disrupting stereotypes is crucial in erasing implicit bias.

·  Inspire agencies to provide art interventions that encourage connection and better understanding of mental illness.

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Finding Hope in the Ruins

The first part of this presentation will explore the life of a woman who was exposed to human trafficking through the kinship who was supposed to protect her. Lee Ann will discuss her pain and how she has turned that into a powerful message of hope. Not only does she talk hope, but she expresses it as she extends herself to others in efforts to help them overcome the pain. The goal of this presentation is to expose the events that lead to her trauma, her experiences, and the effects of trauma in freedom. She will also express the meaning behind the name of her home for women, Rahab’s Heart. During the second part of this presentation, minister, author, instructor and trainer, David, will discuss the spiritual journey of faith and how the existence of hope enables the desire to dream for better. In those dreams, a future could be constructed, making the goal of recovery something to be pursued. Some, because of the trauma they have experienced, believe God does not love them. This is where learning how to understand why you’ve survived and been entrusted with such a great responsibility: to carry a message of hope to the next person experiencing the absence of hope...Finding Hope in the Ruins.

Presentation Objectives:

·  Expose the harsh reality of being trafficked from within kinship networks.

·  Explore how the fight continues for the victim even after freedom has been gained.

·  Convey the trauma related to being trafficked.

·  Communicate how to provide hope to the hopeless.

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Treatment Considerations for Perpetrators of Sex Trafficking

As foreign and domestic policies improve the identification, apprehension, and conviction of perpetrators of sex trafficking, legal penalties may require perpetrators to complete sexual offender treatment. This population is characterized by unique intersection of power and control tactics consistent in intimate partner violence, exploitation of others for personal gain as seen with drug traffickers, and antisocial attitudes common with sexual offenders. This suggests the demand for an innovative treatment approach. This review of perpetrator characteristics, assessment tools, and treatment modalities equips treatment providers with necessary knowledge to begin effective treatment planning. Treatment approaches discussed in this presentation include Risk-Need- Responsivity Model, Risk Assessment, and Transtheoretical Treatment.

Presentation Objectives:

·  Identify common characteristics of perpetrators of sex trafficking.

·  Discuss currently available assessment instruments.

·  Define the unique criminogenic needs of this population.

·  Provide recommendations for treatment of sex traffickers and areas of future research.


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Sex Work and Substance Abuse in South Africa: Law Enforcement v. Harm Reduction?

The intersection between sex work and substance abuse is contestable but common in South Africa. Both activities are legally frowned upon and punishable directly or indirectly. According to the WHO, South Africa has an estimated 150,000 sex workers and over 263,000 people are on drugs. Although the two categories of people may differ generally, their activities may overlap at a stage which may result in an overlay. The issue of whether prostitution is sex work, and whether all sex workers are drug users remains a mystery that necessitates a research- debate. Further, the misconception and demeaning disregard for sex workers and/or drug users have over the years fueled the violence utilized against the vulnerable group of people. This is further exacerbated by exclusive laws that continues to criminalize sex work activities regardless of their lifestyles. Should we really be consumed by punishment and reprisals, or do we need to be more vigilant and moved by the plights of vulnerable groups of people as a democratic nation founded on Ubuntu? This presentation is based on literature and the presenters’ interactions with the vulnerable groups concerned. This presentation aims to argue that most harm which sex workers are subjected to, though related to substance abuse, are more profound given that negative perception of lawmakers and community members. Factors such as discrimination, stigmatization, marginalization, being treated as criminals rather than addressing the ills of exclusion, eliminating criminal activities, and stereotypes surrounding sex work and drug use in South Africa creates more problems in our communities. The presenters recommend that a holistic approach should be adopted by the state to deal with the problem by reducing the potential harms caused to sex workers and/or drug users as their needs may differ rather than focusing squarely or retribution.

Presentation Objectives:

·  Encourage a meaningful discussion on the issue of sex work and substance abuse.

·  Explore the idea that sex workers using drugs and other drug users are human beings with feelings and human rights, including the right to dignity, life, and health.

·  Discuss the intersections between public ill health and neglect for sex workers using drugs problems.

·  Outline laws governing sex work and substance abuse and suggest a possible reform that may be necessary for ameliorating the plight of sex workers and or drug use.

·  Explore advocacy for humane and dignifying rehabilitation mechanisms in both the public and private sectors for sex works and drug users.

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Human Trafficking and the IDD Population

The main focus of this presentation will be on sex and labor trafficking of individuals with Intellectual Developmental Disabilities (IDD) and uncover why this population is becoming more vulnerable to traffickers. Risk factors will be discussed as well as signs of victimization. Participants will learn how human trafficking affects individuals with IDD physically and behaviorally. The presenters will assist participants in how to develop and establish protocols and supports within the DD system. Case studies will be discussed based on real life experiences and they will share about how investigations are completed on IDD cases through County Boards and resources participants can utilize to assist victims on the path of recovery.

Presentation Objectives:

·  Inform the community that IDD individuals are being targeted for human trafficking.

·  Describe risk factors of human trafficking within the IDD population.

·  Assist with how to develop, establish protocols, and supports within the DD system.

·  Discuss how integration in the community can have risk for IDD individuals to be labor trafficked.

·  Describe how our own systems can cause barriers and limitations in this area.

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Cutting "Teeth": Influence and Agency in Documentary Film Editing

Documentary films have ushered awareness about their subjects to their audiences in a variety of styles and approaches from the omniscient narrator to the director/participant. The methods used by the film’s editor, when to cut away, when not to cut, what to cut to, will directly influence the way(s) in which the documentary’s meaning is understood by its audience. This presentation examines how internal and external influences on a film editor lead to the choices made in shaping a film’s content into meaning. The presenters will also discuss the ethical decisions an editor and filmmaker need to consider when making a film about someone who has been trafficked. “Teeth”, edited by Michael Goodier, follows Angelica, a mother of 5 in her late 40’s currently living in Hawaii, as she moves through the processes of healing the emotional and physical damage from having been sex trafficked at a young age. Goodier has constructed a space in “Teeth” where Angelica’s story is told, making visible her real-life experiences in ways that are often oppressed or misrepresented by mainstream media; she is survivor thriver, fighting every day to make her life better for herself and her family.

Presentation Objectives:

·  Illustrate documentary film as an agent of change.

·  Explore the influences of a film editor.

·  Contemplate the ethics of representation from the film editor’s point of view.

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Shh! Don’t Tell Anyone, but My Husband is an Ex-Con

Dorenthea’s life was perfect, or so she thought. She had a loving husband and two beautiful children. Things couldn’t be better, until in 2000, Dorenthea’s husband was sentenced to a 16-year prison term. She found herself being a single mom on welfare and lost everything she had, including her car and home. After serving 12 of the 16 years, he was home. They had made it through this horrifying experience! A few years later, Dorenthea started a new job and was happy to tell her co-worker her story until she said, “Don’t tell anyone your husband was in prison.” While she understood where her co-worker was coming from, Dorenthea felt shame and wondered, “Why can’t I tell people my husband was in prison?” In this presentation, she will share why owning your voice is key.

Presentation Objectives:

·  Encourage and empower participants to not be afraid to own and speak their truth.

·  Discuss steps to take to make your story known and use it for the greater good.

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A Four-Year Analysis of Labor Trafficking Cases in the United States

Although there has been a recent increase of attention and interest on the issue of labor trafficking in the United States, there continues to be limited research on the incidence of labor trafficking cases and characteristics. The Arizona State University (ASU) Office of Sex Trafficking Intervention Research examined labor trafficking cases throughout the United States from 2013 to 2016. The research identified 125 persons arrested for labor trafficking of migrant workers and U.S. citizens and 120 victims of labor trafficking during this time period. During this presentation, details about the cases will be explored and characteristics such as transportation, recruitment, and control tactics will be presented. Recommendations for future research and community action will be discussed.

Presentation Objectives:

·  Present the findings of a national labor trafficking study.

·  Explore recruitment and control tactics labor traffickers used to force, coerce, or trick victims into a labor trafficking experience.

·  Examine elements of movement in labor trafficking cases.

·  Discuss recommendations for future research and community action to combat labor trafficking.

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Peace of Mind or a Piece of Paper? Case Studies in the Pros and Cons of Civil Protection Orders for Victims of Violence

When a victim reports domestic or sexual violence, they are faced with several options. One option is to file for a Civil Protection Order (CPO). In some cases, a CPO is necessary for a victim to feel safe in their surroundings. However, there are also many times in which a CPO may not be in the best interest of the victim, for various reasons. Deciding whether or not to petition for a CPO and navigating the process can be very difficult. This is where legal advocates and attorneys can help. This presentation is provided by an attorney/advocate team, who work together to help victims navigate this process in Northwest Ohio. Both presenters have extensive professional experience working with victims of domestic and sexual violence, specifically assisting with exploring options for protection and safety planning. This presentation aims to provide attorneys and advocates insight into the process for obtaining a CPO, as well as information necessary to assist clients in making a well-informed decision. Relevant CPO case examples from the presenters’ respective Toledo agencies will be discussed.

Disclaimer: Legal advice for specific cases will not be given during this presentation. Please keep questions on topic of the presentation. If you have personal legal questions regarding this topic, contact information for the presenters will be provided.

Presentation Objectives:

·  Identify the role of civil attorneys and advocates in the Civil Protection Order process.

·  Discuss the differences in types of protection orders available to victims of violent crime.

·  Examine co-morbidities and other complicating factors to consider before petitioning for a CPO.

·  Offer guidance on how to determine not only the necessity for a CPO, but the possible risk factors in requesting legal relief.

·  Provide suggestions for audience members on how to approach this subject with clients.

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Can Data Analytics and Mathematical Models Aid Anti-Human Trafficking and Social Justice Efforts?

Thus far, human trafficking research has primarily focused on qualitative studies, statistical estimations of prevalence, and insights generated from economic models. However, a variety of additional mathematical modeling and data analytic techniques also have the potential to help address the unique challenges facing anti-human trafficking efforts including: the covertness of traffickers, the hidden nature of victim-survivors, fragmented data, and limited resources. This presentation will discuss ongoing transdisciplinary collaborations in this sphere and utilize multiple illustrative examples, including optimizing the allocation of a limited budget for rehabilitative shelters for human trafficking survivors and coordinating efforts to disrupt trafficking networks. Applications of such modeling approaches to other social justice contexts will also be briefly discussed. This presentation is designed to be accessible for all audiences, regardless of their familiarity with mathematical concepts.

Presentation Objectives:

·  Identify opportunities for mathematicians to aid service providers, policy makers, law enforcement personnel, and other researchers.

·  Acknowledge challenges to modeling these environments.

·  Highlight the benefits of incorporating mathematical models into the decision-making process through illustrative examples.

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From Victim to Survivor: Journey through the cycle of Recovery in Guyana

The Guyana Women Miners Organization (GWMO) was launched in January 2012. The organization addresses both the economic and social issues in Guyana, not to mention other critical areas, such as: health, environmental, social and safety conditions that affect women in the mining industry and all women who provide services to the mining industry. The GWMO’s Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Unit was the first to conduct rescues in 2012, in a period that not even the government acknowledged that trafficking existed in Guyana. The members of the TIP Unit bravely face rugged terrain and dangerous waters to be the beacon of hope for women and children who are victims of trafficking in persons. Despite the prevalence of trafficking, there are still limited efforts being taken to educate the general public on trafficking and the vital role they can play. Through their passion and guidance of executives, the GWMO continues to utilize their limited resources to rescue, rehabilitate and reintegrate victims. This presentation will chronicle the organization’s continuous journey, transforming victims into survivors. Utilizing case studies and visual illustrations, participants will explore the reality of trafficking in Guyana.

Presentation Objectives:

·  Describe the GWMO’s history and work in the Guyana community.

·  Outline the transformation from victim to survivor while discussing the critical stages of rescue, rehabilitation and reintegration.

·  Highlight the GWMO’s role in creating the country’s first safe home for victims of trafficking.

·  Explore the role that each individual can play to combat trafficking.

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Using a Community Action Model to Address Human Trafficking

This presentation focuses on the efforts Louisiana has taken towards addressing human trafficking on a community level. In 2017, Louisiana received a ranking of ‘A’ by Shared Hope International for its proactive and reactive laws. However, statewide data indicates a 25% increase in human trafficking activity in recent years (Department of Children, 2017). Louisiana’s governor formed a statewide coalition to address the growing problem of human trafficking. This presentation will describe the use of a community action model approach to increase the capacity of individual communities in addressing trafficking. It recognizes that laws and policies effect change, but true change comes from the community. Following the community action model, the work in Louisiana is based on a participatory action research approach and on building the strengths of individual communities. Steps of a community action model will be described in terms of Louisiana’s activity. In addition, data from an on-line training developed to increase awareness and knowledge statewide will be discussed. Participants will have the opportunity to share what community efforts they have experienced.

Presentation Objectives:

·  Discuss the use of statewide annual data to examine the problem of human trafficking.

·  Explain and demonstrate the use of a community action model to effect change.

·  Examine the effect of using an on-line training model to increase awareness and knowledge.

·  Lead a discussion for participants to share community level initiatives or models used in various states.

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Spring Awakening: Challenging Injustice Through the Lens of Theatre

Twenty years’ experience as an actor, producer and director, attest to the ways plays, musicals, and television adaptations embody the imperative to attend to social injustice. This presentation examines three works -works spanning 130 years and two continents- that indicate clearly that adults fail to trust the young people in their charge. In the words of the French saying: the more things change, the more they remain the same. In Spring Awakening, adults fail to comprehend the magnitude of the young people’s concerns. Youths’ earnest attempts to process their experiences of suicide, sex, sexuality, rape, abortion, and sexual abuse are denigrated and denied.  Their efforts to become responsible stewards of their own lives are systematically undermined by adults who lack empathy and pedagogical insight. Too often, we fail to educate young people appropriately. We infantilize them. We condemn their fumblings and their brilliance indiscriminately. We mock their attempts to grapple with foundational issues. At times, we damn their findings as unreal. Sometimes we stultify their unique contribution to the world. Who knows what gems we have lost as a result of this denial? This presentation examines three versions of Frank Wedekind’s Spring Awakening: Tragedy of Childhood. First, the original text published in 1890, then the 2006 Broadway musical adaptation, and finally the segments as included in the 2018 television show, Rise. The presenter concludes that our resistance to acknowledging young people’s agency in their own lives hampers their ability to handle the most serious issues they face.

Presentation Objectives:

·  Explore how theatre can be used as a tool in examining social injustice.

·  Examine three versions of one work of theatre and how it can be used as a tool for social justice.

·  Inspire other artists to use academic rigor and arts in tandem.

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Trauma & Shame in Recovery: Building Resilience Through Connection

Shamin, an exited sex worker, registered social worker, and activist in Manitoba uses her story and spoken word to explore the impacts of trauma on the healing process that takes place after involvement in the sex trade. She talks about the realities of the sex trade and barriers to healing with youth, their communities, and the staff of survivor-serving organizations. Additionally, she has both worked with, and healed alongside, a full spectrum of sexually exploited youth and adults (at-risk, emerging, entrenched, transitioning and exited). Shamin will draw from her experiences as well as from the work of Shame and Empathy Researcher Brene Brown, who has spent over sixteen years studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy. Brene Brown's TED talk, The Power of Vulnerability, is one of the top five most viewed TED talks in the world. Through her healing journey and experiences with youth and adult survivors, Shamin has observed shame to be a primary barrier to developing the kinds of relationships necessary to foster healing. She will explore what her recovery has taught her about the relationship between trauma, shame, and trust as well as share what she believes are the keys to creating a foundation of safety within which trusting relationships with survivors can grow from.

Presentation Objectives:

·  Explore the developmental impacts of trauma in her own life.

·  Illustrate the relationship between shame and trauma in her life.

·  Examine ways to demonstrate unconditional support and build trust with survivors like herself.

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What is the Expense of a Missed Opportunity? Measuring Meaningful Change in the Criminal Justice System

The Opportunity Project is an initiative through the Toledo Legal Aid Society designed to produce better outcomes for marginalized persons that are involved in the criminal justice system through earlier identification of client needs (alcohol/drug dependency; mental health issues; homelessness, etc.) and a more meaningful connection to appropriate services. The prime objectives of this project include: 1) Early identification of client needs; 2) Assistance in connecting/reconnecting with services; 3) Reduction in unnecessary use of jails (bond modification; identifying appropriate and less restrictive for alternatives to incarceration); 4) Provision of earlier opportunities for alternatives to prosecution (Diversion; Intervention in Lieu of Conviction); and 5) Production of better outcomes (Fewer felony convictions; Decreased recidivism).

Presentation Objectives:

·  Define the project including history, purpose, and target population.

·  Define the method and model being established.

·  Review the results thus far and potential implications/next steps.

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Human Trafficking Trends & Responses in Central & Southeast Asia

During this session consisting of interactive lecture, video, and Q & A, you will learn about various human trafficking trends impacting Central and Southeast Asia including trafficking of fishermen, Chinese brides, domestic servitude, bacha bazzi (dancing boys), and sex trafficking. Mike will draw from key research findings from US Department of State, ILO, IOM, UN ACT, and speak from his personal experiences serving in Cambodia with the international non-profit, Hagar International, from 2014-2017. The region, regarded as an epicenter for human trafficking, slavery, and significant gender inequality, must play a key role in the abatement of such inhumane practices. Mike will share about the rewards and challenges of serving abroad and leading the Cambodian trauma recovery programs, as well as Hagar’s involvement in counter-trafficking work in the region. You will also learn about their partnership work to improve government and sector understanding on the impact of trauma on survivors, more effective identification of victims, best practice judicial system responses for survivors, engaging corporations in the fight against trafficking, as well as Hagar’s prevention efforts.

Presentation Objectives:

·  Describe key types of human trafficking in Central and Southeast Asia and connections back to the USA.

·  Explore current strategies in recovery services to survivors and ways to reduce trafficking in the region.

·  Communicate barriers to, and possible solutions for, effective trauma recovery program delivery in low-resource settings.

·  Discuss the importance of partnership in the fight against human trafficking.

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