Posts tagged 11:9:00
Human Trafficking 101

This session is most appropriate for those new to the field of human trafficking and provides a basic overview and refresher of human trafficking. From an American perspective, presenters will focus on both domestic and foreign trafficking as well as labor and sex trafficking occurring in the United States. Estimates on the number of victims, their experiences, the indicators for victim identification, the business of trafficking, where and how to report suspected trafficking, and the importance of accountability of customers and traffickers will be discussed.

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Youth Experiences Survey: A two-year Study on the Combined Experiences of Homelessness and Sex Trafficking

Little is known about the sex trafficking experiences of homeless young adults in the state of Arizona. The chaotic and unpredictable nature of homelessness puts individuals at heightened risk for sexual exploitation due to survival strategies such as sex trading or survival sex. The life experiences of a random sample of homeless young adults in Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona were collected through paper and pencil surveys administered from drop-in centers and street outreach efforts (N=246). Results of the initial study demonstrated that 25.6% of study participants reported a history of sex trafficking. LGBTQ young adults were significantly more likely to report a sex trafficking experience (33, 38.4%) than heterosexual young adults. Sixty-five percent of study participants who had a history of sex trafficking also reported having a sex trafficker at one point, with nine participants reporting having a sex trafficker at the time of the study. The childhood, behavioral and untreated issues that created risk factors for sex trafficking vulnerability were extensive. In the majority of the comparisons between the sex trafficked and non-sex trafficked young adults, significant differences were found with the sex trafficked group having many more negative experiences, behaviors and untreated issues. Techniques used to address these issues and the challenges of providing services to homeless victims of sex trafficking will be discussed.

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Not On My Watch Movement: Building Effective Coalitions

Coalitions are easy to initiate but sometimes have great difficulty becoming effective because they do not have the capacity (knowledge, skills, or resources) to attain their goals. Along with creating effective organizational structures, the organization's capacity to plan, manage, implement prevention programs and policies is essential. We will discuss the model set up by the NYC Faith-Based Coalition Against Human Trafficking and Domestic Violence which launched the Not On My Watch! Movement which focuses on bringing awareness and advocacy through training and education; learn how to build-bridges between houses of worship and community-based organizations, elected officials, federal reps, city agencies, service providers, and grassroots organizations; we will discuss the successes and shortcomings. It is important that coalitions are "action" oriented and not just monthly meeting gatherings. Coalitions want to be recognized in the community/city as having a voice that will be heard by the powers that have the capacity to change policy as well as media. Significant impact should be realized through coalition efforts. In this session participants will learn how to build, launch and sustain a coalition with impact in combatting human trafficking. Faith leaders are highly encouraged to attend.

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Youth Voice on Pathways into Sexual Exploitation: Opportunities for Prevention and Intervention

Research across disciplines shows homeless youth are uniquely vulnerable to commercial sexual exploitation. Yet few studies have explored how youth view sexual exploitation. This qualitative study uses participatory methods to explore how young adults define sexual exploitation, pathways into involvement, and opportunities for prevention and intervention. Twenty-four female-identifying young adults (ages 18-23) currently or formerly experiencing homelessness were recruited from a youth serving agency in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The sample is diverse with respect to race/ethnicity, including African American, Latina, Native American, and Caucasian participants. Participants described experiences in line with documented pathways including desperation, immaturity, the strong role of peers, and violent romantic relationships. Uniquely, participants connected survival sex with participation in the commercial sex industry and pimp-mediated sex trafficking. Results yield novel perspective on the continuum of sexual exploitation experienced by youth, connecting constructs previously thought of as distinct. Participants also shed new light on how this shift in perspective affects intervention. Paradoxically, accessing homeless youth services may flag youth as more vulnerable to exploitation. Findings indicate that all youth experiencing homelessness regularly confront solicitations and experiences around sexual exploitation. From the youth perspective, intervention efforts must engage the entire homeless youth community.

1) To better understand the spectrum of sexually exploitative situations homeless youth navigate.
2) To better understand the pathways/recruitment methods that lead to sexual exploitation for the purpose of recognizing those pathways and being able to intervene.
3) To apply this knowledge to prevention and early intervention efforts among the homeless youth population.

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Breaking the Stigma: Understanding Compassion Fatigue and Vicarious Trauma

Research shows that approximately 70% of workers who deal regularly with trauma stories are likely to experience symptoms of secondary trauma transferred to them from the disturbing material, such as a worker experiencing nightmares reflecting the experiences as reported to them by a trafficking victim. Source? The helping field has gradually begun to recognize that workers are profoundly affected by the work they do, whether it is by direct exposure to a traumatic event (paramedic or police officer), or secondary exposure (hearing clients talk about trauma they have experienced). Compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma have been described as the cost of caring for others in emotional pain and can strike the most dedicated worker. Ironically, helpers who are burned out, fatigued and traumatized tend to work more and work harder. As a result, they go further down a path that can lead to serious physical and mental health difficulties, such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse, stress related illnesses, and even suicide.
Breaking the Stigma: Understanding Compassion Fatigue and Vicarious Trauma is an educational awareness presentation for front line workers who deal with a traumatized population.

1)       Educate workers on the different definitions and forms of trauma they can experience during their careers as well as the symptoms they may suffer.

2)       How to build resiliency when dealing with work related trauma as well as the effects on our loved ones.

3)       How to get help for symptoms relating to compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma.

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Client Violence Aided and Abetted by Stigma Against Sex Work

6/12: client severely injured Amanda and Jill due to extreme negligence as a private pilot, and also raped Amanda twice while recovering from a broken neck and brain bleed.
7/12: Client has: paid representatives to send death threats to Jill via email and voicemails; paid men to assault Jill on three separate occasions; hired hackers who committed credit card fraud and identify theft against Jill and threated legal actions.

4/14: Final attacks were extremely violent and medical complications from those attacks have created a terminal blood-clotting disorder. Jill also suffers brain damage from the repeated head injuries.

The first attack was not reported to the police. The last two attacks and credit card fraud were reported to the police, who did not investigate and “lost” the incident reports.
Jill does not have a criminal record of prostitution, but has been reported to police as a prostitute and suffered police harassment ever since and therefore chooses not to report.
The stigma of sex work has prevented the women from being able to access legal aid, justice, proper medical care, and both are vulnerable to stalking, threats, and violence. They no longer live in the US for safety concerns.
The client, as an attorney, can play the system with impunity. As sex workers, the women have been disbelieved, questioned, and scrutinized.

Listen to sex workers when they talk about any violence they experience. Violence can happen to any sex worker, even if they're a fully-consenting sex worker.
Identify resources or lack thereof for sex workers.
Understand why sex workers are reluctant to go to the police.
How the criminalization of sex work allows this to happen.
Violence has a profound impact on a sex worker's life because the stigma of sex work overshadows the real violence done to them.

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