Safe Harbor for All: A Statewide and Community-Driven Approach to Expand Support for Adult Survivors


Caroline Palmer, JD & Lauren Martin, PhD | September 19 | 11:30 AM-12:30 PM

Topic: Research, Direct Service | Knowledge Level: Advanced | Location: TBD

Over the past decade, Minnesota’s response to sex trafficking and exploitation has focused primarily on youth up to age 24. In 2017, the Minnesota State Legislature, in response to stakeholder requests for an enhanced vision of the Safe Harbor system, directed the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), in consultation with the Minnesota Department of Human Services and the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, to develop a strategic plan that expands the current Safe Harbor system to address the needs of all victim/survivors of sex trafficking and exploitation as well as others who have lived experience, regardless of age. MDH contracted with three partner organizations, The Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center at the University of Minnesota, The Advocates for Human Rights, and Rainbow Research, to design and implement a community engagement process involving stakeholders statewide, including persons most impacted by sexual exploitation and trafficking. In January 2019, MDH submitted a strategic plan to the legislature providing immediate and long-term suggestions for expanding Safe Harbor to all ages. This plan is informed by the recommendations and findings developed through the community engagement process and outlined in the report submitted by the partner organizations, "Safe Harbor for All: Results from a Strategic Planning Process in Minnesota." This presentation will provide an overview of the partners' comprehensive participatory research model supporting the strategic plan. Workshop attendees will learn about how participatory research approaches can inform and enhance the multidisciplinary response to trafficking and exploitation for youth and adults.

Presentation Objectives:

·  Describe the needs of adult victim/survivors and persons with lived experiences in terms of supportive services and system response

·  Discuss how participatory research policies can advance state policy to support adult survivors of trafficking/exploitation and all persons with lived experience

·  Demonstrate how state and private research partnerships can expand the dialogue about the intersections of sex trafficking and exploitation with overt and underlying forces of oppression

About the Presenters