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Suggested Citation:"3 How Victim and Support Services Can Help." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2014. Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States: A Guide for Providers of Victim and Support Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18798.
×

3   How Victim and
Support Services Can Help

By definition, all victim and support service professionals work with vulnerable and victimized youth. Minors who have experienced or are at risk of commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking are often subject to other forms of abuse and may be receiving victim and support services in connection with that abuse. Therefore, victim and support service professionals should be able to recognize past, ongoing, or potential victimization by commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking among the youth in their care. Failure to recognize victims and survivors of these crimes is not uncommon among these professionals, however [1, 2]. As a result, those at risk may become victims, and victims may miss opportunities for assistance and remain vulnerable to further exploitation and abuse.

This section describes some noteworthy examples of efforts by child welfare and governmental and nongovernmental victim and support service organizations that show promise as ways of preventing these crimes and providing victims and survivors with the help they need. At the same time, however, the IOM/NRC report emphasizes that no one sector, discipline, or area of practice can fully understand or respond effectively to the complex problems surrounding these crimes; collaboration and coordination among multiple sectors and agencies are necessary to mount an adequate response. Therefore, this section also describes examples of multisector and interagency collaborations in which victim and support services play a role.

Before proceeding, it must be emphasized that none of the efforts described here have undergone sufficient research and evaluation to be recommended for replication. The need for further research and evaluation of all

Suggested Citation:"3 How Victim and Support Services Can Help." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2014. Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States: A Guide for Providers of Victim and Support Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18798.
×

strategies for addressing commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors is a key theme in Section 5 on recommended strategies for progress.

“No one sector, discipline, or area of practice can fully understand or respond effectively to the complex problems surrounding these crimes; collaboration and coordination among multiple sectors and agencies are necessary to mount an adequate response.”

CHILD WELFARE

As noted in Section 2, involvement in the child welfare system, including out-of-home placement, such as in group homes and foster care, may be a risk factor for commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors. Understanding the potential risks related to involvement in the child welfare system can help child welfare professionals recognize and address those risks and potentially prevent these crimes among youth already involved in the system.

While one of the primary responsibilities of child welfare is to prevent the abuse, neglect, and exploitation of children, this responsibility traditionally has not been applied to extrafamilial victimization, which generally has fallen within the purview of law enforcement [3, p. 2]. As emphasized in Section 1, commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors, at their core, are forms of child abuse. Child welfare agencies, therefore, have a responsibility to assist victims and survivors of these crimes. In addition, child welfare caseworkers may serve an important role as “gateway providers” to supportive services for victims and survivors of abuse [4].

The IOM/NRC report offers specific examples of efforts to enhance the involvement of child welfare in addressing these crimes. They include creating a specific “allegation of harm” for commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors to improve case management, requiring reporting to child protective services, raising awareness and building capacity in child welfare, and developing state guidelines and tools for child welfare professionals.

“Commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors, at their core, are forms of child abuse. Child welfare agencies, therefore, have a responsibility to assist victims and survivors of these crimes.”

Suggested Citation:"3 How Victim and Support Services Can Help." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2014. Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States: A Guide for Providers of Victim and Support Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18798.
×

BOX 4
Creating an Allegation of Harm for Commercial
Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors

The Illinois Safe Children Act includes “human trafficking of children” as an allegation of harm in the Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System, a central data collection point that helps maintain a complete case management history of child maltreatment. The law stipulates that victims of commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors should be considered “abused,” so that when an individual under age 18 is taken into custody for a prostitution offense, law enforcement must notify the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services of the allegation of human trafficking. The Department of Children and Family Services, in turn, is required to open an investigation into the abuse within 24 hours of the initial report.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Children’s Bureau. 2012. About SACWIS/TACWIS.

http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/research-data-technology/state-tribal-info-systems/about

 

State of Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. 2011. Allegation of Harm #40/90 Human Trafficking of Children. http://www.state.il.us/dcfs/docs/ocfp/policy/Policy_Guide_2013.05.pdf

Creating an “Allegation of Harm”

Several states, including Connecticut, Florida, and Illinois, have designated human trafficking as a specific abuse allegation, as distinct from other reported types of child maltreatment (e.g., domestic violence, sexual abuse, incest, or other forms of physical abuse) (see Box 4). This designation can help officials collect and analyze state-level data and coordinate case management for victims.

Requiring Reporting to Child Protective Services

In Massachusetts, all suspected cases of commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors must be referred to child protective services [5]. A report to child protective services prompts referral to a case coordinator, which, in turn, activates a comprehensive, coordinated response to the victim/survivor.

Suggested Citation:"3 How Victim and Support Services Can Help." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2014. Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States: A Guide for Providers of Victim and Support Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18798.
×

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Suffolk County Massachusetts’ Response to Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC). 2012.

http://www.suffolkcac.org/assets/pdf/From_the_Life_to_My_Life_Suffolk_Countys_Response_to_CSEC_June_2012.pdf

Raising Awareness and Building Capacity in Child Welfare

As noted earlier, the role of child welfare in addressing the commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors may be limited by the failure to recognize victims and survivors of these crimes and by the perception that victims should be handled in the juvenile justice system [2, 6]. The International Organization for Adolescents and the Center for the Human Rights of Children at Loyola University Chicago, in partnership with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, developed the Building Child Welfare Response to Child Trafficking Handbook [2]. The purpose of this handbook is to help child welfare agencies fulfill their responsibility of identifying and serving trafficking victims as required by the Illinois Safe Children Act.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

The International Organization for Adolescents and the Center for the Human Rights of Children at Loyola University Chicago. 2011. Building Child Welfare Response to Child Trafficking Handbook.

http://www.luc.edu/media/lucedu/chrc/pdfs/BCWRHandbook2011.pdf

Developing State Guidelines and Tools for Child Welfare Professionals

The State of Florida’s Department of Children and Family Services has developed specific guidelines to assist child welfare and child protection professionals with reporting allegations of human trafficking of children. In addition, the state developed a tool to assist child protection investigators in identifying trafficking victims. Currently, guidance of this nature is lacking at the federal level and within most states.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

State of Florida Department of Children and Families. 2009. Human Trafficking of Children Indicator Tool.

http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/programs/humantrafficking//docs/HumanTraffickingOfChildrenIndicatoTool0109.pdf

Suggested Citation:"3 How Victim and Support Services Can Help." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2014. Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States: A Guide for Providers of Victim and Support Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18798.
×

State of Florida Department of Children and Families. 2009. Intakes and Investigative Response to Human Trafficking of Children.

http://centerforchildwelfare2.fmhi.usf.edu/kb/DCF_Pol/Family%20Safety%20CFOP’s/175-14HumanTrafficking2013.pdf

FEDERAL AND STATE GOVERNMENTS

The federal government addresses the commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors by providing support for services, training, technical assistance, outreach to increase public awareness, and information resources. Examples include making federal benefits and services available to trafficking victims, funding service organizations, and providing employment and job training to trafficking victims. At the state level, governments can help address the problem by using a statewide coordinated care approach to the provision of victim and support services.

Making Federal Benefits and Services Available to Victims of Trafficking

Efforts of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) include regional training and meetings; outreach efforts to raise public awareness (e.g., the Rescue & Restore Victims of Human Trafficking campaign); technical assistance to program grantees who work with victims of human trafficking; and funding for the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, a national resource for victims of human trafficking and the public. In addition, HHS developed a guide to federal benefits and services available to trafficking victims [7]. This resource provides program-by-program information on benefits and services and includes eligibility requirements.

The President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons recently released a 5-year federal strategic action plan on services for victims of human trafficking in the United States. Among its goals, the plan calls for expanding access to services from a range of agencies for victims of human trafficking throughout the United States.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Rescue and Restore Victims of Human Trafficking Campaign.

http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/orr/resource/about-rescue-restore

 

Suggested Citation:"3 How Victim and Support Services Can Help." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2014. Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States: A Guide for Providers of Victim and Support Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18798.
×

National Human Trafficking Resource Center.

http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/orr/resource/fact-sheet-national-human-trafficking-resource-center

 

Services Available to Victims of Human Trafficking.

http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/orr/traffickingservices_0.pdf

 

U.S. Department of State. 2012. Annual Meeting of the President’s Interagency

Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.

http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/reports/pitf/

 

President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. 2013. Federal Strategic Action Plan on Services for Victims of Human Trafficking in the United States 2013-2017.

http://ideascale.com//userimages/accounts/91/912839/Victim-Services-SAP2013-04-09-Public-Comment-B.pdf

Funding Service Organizations

The U.S. Department of Justice provides funding to victim services organizations at the local, regional, and national levels through grants made by the Office for Victims of Crime. The 2013 reauthorization of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) has supplemented these programs by authorizing HHS to issue up to four grants to state or local entities, with the requirement that two-thirds of the funding be used for residential care and services for victims and survivors of sex trafficking who are minors. Funds are also used to develop interagency partnerships and public outreach and awareness campaigns.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Grants Made by Office for Victims of Crime.

http://ojp.gov/ovc/grants

 

Reauthorization of Trafficking Victims Protection Act.

http://www.state.gov/j/tip/laws

 

U.S. Department of State. 2012. Annual Meeting of the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.

http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/reports/pitf/

Suggested Citation:"3 How Victim and Support Services Can Help." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2014. Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States: A Guide for Providers of Victim and Support Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18798.
×

Providing Employment and Job Training to Trafficking Victims

The U.S. Department of Labor offers employment and training services to trafficking victims, as required by the TVPA. In addition, the TVPA stipulates that victims of convicted traffickers are entitled to full restitution for the labor they performed.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

U.S. Department of State. 2012. Annual Meeting of the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.

http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/reports/pitf/

Using a Statewide Coordinated Care Approach to the Provision of Victim and Support Services

Georgia Care Connection was established by Georgia’s Governor’s Office for Children and Families to serve as a central, statewide hub for victims and survivors of commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors and for professionals (e.g., law enforcement personnel, school personnel, child welfare professionals, health care providers) seeking to help them. Through a broad network of state and local service providers and professionals, Georgia Care Connection coordinates a “comprehensive care plan” for victims and survivors. This comprehensive plan integrates and coordinates prevention, intervention, and treatment services (e.g., legal, mental and physical health, housing) that are guided by the specific needs of each victim/survivor.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Georgia Care Connection.

http://children.georgia.gov/task-force-overview

Nongovernmental Organizations

Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) serving victims and survivors of commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors include specialized direct service providers, faith-based organizations, service providers and community organizations that serve other populations, advocacy organizations, and private foundations, among others. These organizations help address the problem through curriculum development and education, training for victim and support service professionals, direct care and services, outreach and public awareness initiatives, prevention efforts, hotlines, and direct support to state and local organizations.

Suggested Citation:"3 How Victim and Support Services Can Help." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2014. Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States: A Guide for Providers of Victim and Support Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18798.
×

Curriculum Development and Education

A number of NGOs have developed and implemented curricula designed to reach current and potential victims and survivors of commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors. One example is described in Box 5.

Training for Victim and Support Service Professionals

Some NGOs have developed and implemented training for victim and support service professionals who work with minors that have experienced or are at risk of commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking. One example, Girls Educational & Mentoring Services (GEMS), is described in Box 6. Other examples of organizations that conduct training for an array of victim and support service providers include Motivating, Inspiring, Supporting, and Serving Sexually Exploited Youth; Polaris Project; Standing Against Global Exploitation; and Shared Hope International.

BOX 5
My Life, My Choice

My Life, My Choice (MLMC) is an educational curriculum developed by the Boston-based My Life, My Choice initiative, which works to identify and intervene with adolescent girls who are vulnerable to commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking [8]. The MLMC curriculum consists of 10 sessions led and facilitated by trained staff, typically a licensed clinician and a survivor of commercial sexual exploitation or sex trafficking. The curriculum can be delivered in a variety of settings (e.g., group homes and residential facilities, child protective services offices, juvenile justice facilities, community-based organizations).

The goals of the curriculum include preventing commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking among at-risk adolescents and preventing revictimization among those previously exploited. The curriculum was designed to alter participants’ behavior by changing their attitudes, knowledge, and skills (i.e., improving attitudes regarding sexual health and self-esteem, increasing knowledge of the relationship between substance use and commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking, and developing skills to access resources and recognize potential exploiters) [9].

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

My Life, My Choice (MLMC).

http://jri.org/services/behavioral-health-and-trauma-services/community-based-behavioralhealth-services/my-life-my-choice

Suggested Citation:"3 How Victim and Support Services Can Help." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2014. Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States: A Guide for Providers of Victim and Support Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18798.
×

BOX 6
Girls Educational & Mentoring Services (GEMS)

GEMS, a New York City–based nonprofit organization that provides services to girls and young women (aged 12 to 24) who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking, has developed and implemented two curricula for organizations working with victims and survivors of these crimes.

The first, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Community Intervention Project Train-the-Trainer curriculum, is designed to provide an overview of issues related to commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors for victim and support service providers, law enforcement personnel, health care professionals, child welfare professionals, legal professionals (e.g., prosecutors, legal aid professionals/public defenders, family court officials), school personnel, and first responders. Specific topics include prevention and identification strategies, assessment and counseling techniques, and investigation and interviewing strategies, among others.

Second, the Victim, Survivor, Leader™ curriculum is designed to assist organizations interested in developing and providing “specialized services” for female victims and survivors of commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking.

In addition to these two curricula, GEMS offers technical assistance to organizations seeking additional guidance on the design and delivery of services to the victims and survivors of commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

GEMS (Girls Educational & Mentoring Services). 2013. Training and Technical Assistance.

http://www.gems-girls.org/get-trained/training-and-technical-assistance

Direct Care and Services

Various organizations provide direct care and services to victims and survivors of commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors. These services include temporary and longer-term shelter, intensive case management, victim outreach, support groups, counseling and therapeutic services, mentoring, and legal assistance. Two examples are described in Box 7.

Several direct care service providers also focus on specific vulnerable populations, such as boys/adolescent males; lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) youth; and homeless youth. As discussed in Section 4, boys/adolescent males and LGBT youth are often overlooked as populations at risk for commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking. As a result, victim and support services for these youth are especially scarce. One example of an effort to meet this need is Larkin Street Youth Services, a San Francisco–based

Suggested Citation:"3 How Victim and Support Services Can Help." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2014. Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States: A Guide for Providers of Victim and Support Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18798.
×

BOX 7
Examples of Direct Care and Services
for Victims and Survivors

Courtney’s House is a survivor-run organization that provides services to victims and survivors of commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area [10]. Services include case management; educational assistance; survivor-led support groups for male, female, and transgender victims and survivors; mentorship programs; counseling; group therapy; and academic tutoring. In addition, an overnight street outreach program is aimed at identifying victims, survivors, and minors who are at risk of commercial sexual exploitation or sex trafficking. Finally, Courtney’s House maintains a hotline staffed by victims and survivors of these crimes.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Courtney’s House.

http://www.courtneyshouse.org

 

The Salvation Army’s STOP-IT Initiative Against Human Trafficking provides services to victims of human trafficking in 11 counties in Illinois [11]. The program creates individualized service plans for victims and survivors and provides referrals for shelter and housing, transportation, legal services, medical care, mental health services, education, and employment services.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

The Salvation Army’s STOP-IT Initiative Against Human Trafficking.

http://sa-stopit.org

nonprofit organization that provides a range of support services to homeless and runaway youth aged 13 to 24, many of whom are male, LGBT, or questioning [12]. Larkin Street provides underage emergency shelter, transitional living programs, primary medical care, case management, education and employment services, HIV prevention information and testing, mental health services, and substance abuse intervention [1]. In addition, Larkin Street collaborates with other area service providers that serve primarily girls and women to make services available to those it may be unable to assist.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Larkin Street Youth Services.

http://www.larkinstreetyouth.org

Suggested Citation:"3 How Victim and Support Services Can Help." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2014. Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States: A Guide for Providers of Victim and Support Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18798.
×

 

Other examples of organizations that serve boys and LGBT and questioning youth include the Center on Halsted, Courtney’s House (discussed in Box 7), and Boston Gay & Lesbian Adolescent Social Services.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Center on Halsted.

https://www.centeronhalsted.org

 

Boston GLASS (Boston Gay & Lesbian Adolescent Social Services). 2013. Services.

http://www.jri.org/services/health-hiv-lgbtq-services/health-and-preventionservices/boston-glass/services

“Boys/adolescent males and LGBT youth are often overlooked as populations at risk for commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking. As a result, victim and support services for these youth are especially scarce.”

Outreach and Public Awareness Initiatives

A number of NGOs have created outreach campaigns to raise public awareness of commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors in the United States. Three national-level examples are Shared Hope International, Polaris Project, and ECPAT-USA:

 

    Shared Hope International has worked to increase public awareness of these crimes by producing a series of reports focused on demand [13], domestic sex trafficking of minors [14], and state-by-state legal responses [15]; by using various media (e.g., billboard campaigns and YouTube videos); and by holding national conferences and public events.


FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Shared Hope International.

http://sharedhope.org

 

    Polaris Project operates the National Human Trafficking Resource Center. The Polaris Project website includes downloadable resources for the public, a range of service providers and professionals, victims and survivors, and individuals at risk for human trafficking. These resources include information on existing and pending federal- and state-level legislation on human trafficking, downloadable flyers that

Suggested Citation:"3 How Victim and Support Services Can Help." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2014. Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States: A Guide for Providers of Victim and Support Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18798.
×

    publicize the National Human Trafficking Resource Center’s hotline number (translated in 20 languages), an online directory of selected state-by-state resources, and general information about commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors.


FOR MORE INFORMATION:

National Human Trafficking Resource Center.
http://www.polarisproject.org/what-we-do/national-humantrafficking-hotline/the-nhtrc/overview

 

    In addition to providing resources on its website, ECPAT-USA organizes a youth-led educational outreach program, the Youth Committee, that engages high school students in efforts to address commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors. In addition, ECPAT-USA’s Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct provides a set of principles that encourage domestic travel and tourism companies to adopt policies addressing these crimes [16].


FOR MORE INFORMATION:

ECPAT-USA (End Child Prostitution and Trafficking-United States of America). 2013. Youth Committee: Involving Young People in Ending Trafficking.

http://www.ecpatusa.org/overview


ECPAT-USA. 2013. About the Code: The Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct.
http://www.ecpatusa.org/6012/code

 

In addition to these national-level examples, many other NGOs engage in outreach and public awareness campaigns using a range of strategies, including testimony before Congress, print and media campaigns, and presentations to community-based groups.

Prevention Efforts

Most current prevention efforts focus on raising awareness of the problem of commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors and improving capacity to identify children and adolescents at risk of victimization (the curricula described in Box 6, developed by GEMS, are examples). Other organizations’ prevention work is aimed primarily at assisting and supporting

Suggested Citation:"3 How Victim and Support Services Can Help." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2014. Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States: A Guide for Providers of Victim and Support Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18798.
×

those at risk for commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking (GEMS and MLMC, described in Box 5, are examples). At least one organization has focused on educating adolescent males. The Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation (CAASE) created Empowering Young Men to End Sexual Exploitation, a prevention program for adolescent males that is implemented in Chicago-area high schools [17].

Additional prevention strategies are aimed at deterring and eliminating demand by promoting victim- and survivor-centered law enforcement strategies and laws. For example, End Demand Illinois, a statewide campaign of CAASE, supports the creation of new laws and resources for law enforcement to facilitate the arrest, filing of charges against, and prosecution of exploiters.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Empowering Young Men to End Sexual Exploitation.

http://caase.org/prevention

 

End Demand Illinois. 2013. Campaign Goals.

http://www.enddemandillinois.org/campaign-goals

Hotlines

Various hotlines (or help lines) are operated to assist victims of human trafficking; provide referrals; and, to the extent possible, connect individuals with support services in their communities. Examples are described in Box 8.

Direct Support to State and Local Organizations

Some statewide community foundations directly support the efforts of state and local organizations to prevent and respond to commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors. One example is the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, which in 2011 launched the 5-year “Minnesota Girls Are Not for Sale” campaign to support services, research, and public education on commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of girls. Grantees have included local governments and nonprofit organizations.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Women’s Foundation of Minnesota. 2011. Women’s Foundation of Minnesota Launches Campaign to End the Prostitution of Minnesota Girls.

http://www.wfmn.org/PDFs/WFM_MNGirls_Nov12011_final.pdf

Suggested Citation:"3 How Victim and Support Services Can Help." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2014. Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States: A Guide for Providers of Victim and Support Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18798.
×

BOX 8
Examples of Hotlines for Victims of Human Trafficking

The National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) is a 24-hour national hotline funded by HHS and operated through a cooperative agreement with Polaris Project. This hotline answers crisis calls (e.g., from trafficking victims in need of immediate assistance), provides referrals to local victim and support services, receives tips related to human trafficking, and responds to inquiries for general information and technical assistance.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Polaris Project. 2013. National Human Trafficking Resource Center.

http://www.polarisproject.org/what-we-do/national-human-trafficking-hotline/the-nhtrc/overview

 

In Chicago, the Salvation Army’s STOP-IT Initiative Against Human Trafficking, discussed in Box 7, operates a 24-hour hotline. This hotline helps connect callers with local service providers. There also are hotlines that exist exclusively to assist commercially sexually exploited youth. One example is a hotline operated by Courtney’s House, also discussed in Box 7. This hotline, which connects victims with local resources, is answered by survivors of commercial sexual exploitation.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

STOP-IT Initiative Against Human Trafficking.

http://sa-stopit.org

 

Courtney’s House.

http://www.courtneyshouse.org

MULTISECTOR AND INTERAGENCY EFFORTS

Each of the sectors involved in addressing commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors—victim and support services, health care, education, the legal sector, and the commercial sector—has specific roles to play. As noted earlier, however, an adequate response to these crimes requires collaboration and coordination among all of these sectors, as well as at all levels—federal, state, and local. Yet the efforts of individuals, groups, and organizations in different sectors and with different areas of expertise tend to be disconnected. The IOM/NRC report highlights a number of examples of initiatives that have overcome this barrier to a comprehensive response.

Suggested Citation:"3 How Victim and Support Services Can Help." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2014. Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States: A Guide for Providers of Victim and Support Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18798.
×

Models from Other Domains

Because of the lack of research and evaluation of collaborative initiatives to address commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors, the IOM/NRC report describes such initiatives in the related domains of child maltreatment, domestic violence, and sexual assault, all of which involve providers of victim and support services:

 

    Child maltreatment—Children’s advocacy centers centralize and coordinate the investigation of child abuse cases and related social services and mental health care, as well as advocacy services [18]. They require the use of multidisciplinary teams that include law enforcement investigators, child protection workers, prosecutors, and mental health and other health care professionals, among others, to coordinate forensic interviews, medical evaluations, therapeutic interventions, and victim advocacy.


FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Kristi House. 2012. Commercial Sexual Exploitation.

http://www.kristihouse.org/commercial-sexual-exploitation


National Children’s Alliance. 2013. History of National Children’s Alliance.
http://www.nationalchildrensalliance.org/index.php?s=35

 

    Domestic violence—In a family justice center, as in a children’s advocacy center, a multidisciplinary team of professionals is collocated and works together to provide coordinated care to victims of domestic violence [19]. Services encompass advocacy, interviews with law enforcement personnel, medical assistance, information on shelter, and help with transportation.


FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Family Justice Center Alliance. 2013. What Is a Family Justice Center?

http://familyjusticecenter.com/home.html

 

    Sexual assault—Sexual assault response teams are community-based interventions that provide comprehensive care to victims of sexual assault and coordinate the legal, medical, mental health, and advocacy response [20]. They represent a shift from a case focus to a victim/survivor focus [21, 22]. Their activities include conducting

Suggested Citation:"3 How Victim and Support Services Can Help." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2014. Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States: A Guide for Providers of Victim and Support Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18798.
×

     multidisciplinary training, providing direct support and advocacy to victims and survivors, developing protocols and policies for responding to cases, conducting case review to coordinate the response to cases, and educating the public about sexual violence and resources available to survivors [23].

 

Multisector and Interagency Initiatives Addressing Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors

Multisector and interagency efforts to address commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors at the federal level include task forces and other partnerships, such as those mandated by the 2013 reauthorization of the TVPA [2, 11, 24, 25].

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

BJA (Bureau of Justice Assistance). 2013. Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force Initiative.

https://www.bja.gov/ProgramDetails.aspx?Program_ID=51

 

Cook County Human Trafficking Task Force.

http://www.cookcountytaskforce.org

 

OVC (Office for Victims of Crime). 2013. OVC-Funded Grantee Programs to Help Victims of Trafficking.

http://www.ojp.gov/ovc/grants/traffickingmatrix.html

 

OVC and BJA. 2011. Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force Strategy and Operations E-guide.

https://www.ovcttac.gov/TaskForceGuide/EGuide/Default.aspx

 

OVC and BJA. 2013. Enhanced Collaborative Model to Combat Human Trafficking FY 2013 Competitive Grant Announcement.

https://www.bja.gov/Funding/13HumanTraffickingSol.pdf

 

President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. 2013. Federal Strategic Action Plan on Services for Victims of Human Trafficking in the United States 2013-2017.

http://ideascale.com//userimages/accounts/91/912839/Victim-Services-SAP2013-04-09-Public-Comment-B.pdf

Suggested Citation:"3 How Victim and Support Services Can Help." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2014. Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States: A Guide for Providers of Victim and Support Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18798.
×

 

U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. 2013. The D.C. Human Trafficking Task Force.

http://www.justice.gov/usao/dc/programs/cp/human_trafficking.html

 

U.S. Department of State. 2012. Annual Meeting of the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.

http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/reports/pitf/

 

Examples of state and local efforts include the following:

 

    Washington State—Washington state’s statewide Model Protocol for Commercially Sexually Exploited Children for responding to cases of commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors is focused on fostering collaboration and coordination among agencies, improving identification of these crimes, providing services to victims and survivors, holding exploiters accountable, and working toward ending these crimes in the state [26]. The protocol calls for use of a victim-centered approach by law enforcement, the courts, victim advocacy organizations, youth service agencies, and other youth-serving professionals to ensure that victims of these crimes are treated as such rather than as criminals. The protocol encourages multisector collaboration through state, regional, and local efforts. For example, it calls for the use of multidisciplinary teams to provide immediate consultation on cases of commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors as they arise and to participate in meetings to share information and collaborate in the management of each ongoing case.


FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Washington State Model Protocol for Commercially Sexually Exploited Children.

http://www.ccyj.org/Project%20Respect%20protocol.pdf

 

    Multnomah County, Oregon—In 2008, Multnomah County initiated a coordinated multisector response to commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors. Specific work groups focus on legislation, assistance for victims and survivors, law enforcement practices (e.g., arrests, investigation, and prosecution of exploiters and traffickers), and physical and mental health care. Steering committee members include law enforcement; the district attorney’s office; the Departments of Health, Community Justice, and Human Services; survivors; and nongovernmental service providers. Sev-

Suggested Citation:"3 How Victim and Support Services Can Help." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2014. Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States: A Guide for Providers of Victim and Support Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18798.
×

    eral strategies are used to ensure collaboration across agencies and among various systems. For example, the county created a special unit within the state child welfare agency for victims and survivors of these crimes [27, 28].


FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Multnomah County Community Response to Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children.

https://multco.us/csec

 

    Suffolk County, Massachusetts—In Suffolk County, more than 35 public and private agencies participate in the Support to End Exploitation Now (SEEN) Coalition. SEEN’s multisector, coordinated approach to identifying and serving high-risk and sexually exploited minors includes three components: (1) cross-system collaboration, (2) a trauma-informed continuum of care (see Section 4), and (3) training for professionals who work with children and adolescents. To facilitate collaboration and communication among coalition members, SEEN established formal relationships and protocols, including a steering committee and advisory group, multidisciplinary teams of professionals, and a case coordinator who serves as the central point of contact for all reported victims of commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking [5].


FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Support to End Exploitation Now (SEEN) Coalition.

http://www.suffolkcac.org/programs/seen

 

    Alameda County, California—H.E.A.T. (Human Exploitation and Trafficking) Watch is a multidisciplinary, multisystem program that brings together individuals and agencies from law enforcement, health care, advocacy, victim and support services, the courts, probation agencies, the commercial sector, and the community to (1) ensure the safety of victims and survivors and (2) pursue accountability for exploiters and traffickers. Strategies employed by H.E.A.T. Watch include, among others, stimulating community engagement, coordinating training and information sharing, and coordinating the delivery of victim and support services. The program uses a multisector approach to coordinate the delivery of support services. For example, multidisciplinary case review (modeled on the multidisciplinary team approach) is used to create emergency and long-term safety plans.

Suggested Citation:"3 How Victim and Support Services Can Help." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2014. Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States: A Guide for Providers of Victim and Support Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18798.
×

Referrals for case review are made by law enforcement, prosecutors, probation officials, and social service organizations that have come into contact with these youth. This approach enables members of the multidisciplinary team to share confidential information with agencies that can assist youth in need of services and support.


FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Alameda County District Attorney’s Office. 2012. H.E.A.T. Watch Program Blueprint.

http://www.heat-watch.org/heat_watch

Suggested Citation:"3 How Victim and Support Services Can Help." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2014. Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States: A Guide for Providers of Victim and Support Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18798.
×

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Suggested Citation:"3 How Victim and Support Services Can Help." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2014. Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States: A Guide for Providers of Victim and Support Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18798.
×
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Suggested Citation:"3 How Victim and Support Services Can Help." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2014. Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States: A Guide for Providers of Victim and Support Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18798.
×
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Suggested Citation:"3 How Victim and Support Services Can Help." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2014. Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States: A Guide for Providers of Victim and Support Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18798.
×
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Suggested Citation:"3 How Victim and Support Services Can Help." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2014. Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States: A Guide for Providers of Victim and Support Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18798.
×
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Suggested Citation:"3 How Victim and Support Services Can Help." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2014. Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States: A Guide for Providers of Victim and Support Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18798.
×
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Suggested Citation:"3 How Victim and Support Services Can Help." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2014. Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States: A Guide for Providers of Victim and Support Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18798.
×
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Suggested Citation:"3 How Victim and Support Services Can Help." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2014. Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States: A Guide for Providers of Victim and Support Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18798.
×
Page 19
Suggested Citation:"3 How Victim and Support Services Can Help." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2014. Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States: A Guide for Providers of Victim and Support Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18798.
×
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Suggested Citation:"3 How Victim and Support Services Can Help." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2014. Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States: A Guide for Providers of Victim and Support Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18798.
×
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Suggested Citation:"3 How Victim and Support Services Can Help." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2014. Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States: A Guide for Providers of Victim and Support Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18798.
×
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Suggested Citation:"3 How Victim and Support Services Can Help." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2014. Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States: A Guide for Providers of Victim and Support Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18798.
×
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Suggested Citation:"3 How Victim and Support Services Can Help." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2014. Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States: A Guide for Providers of Victim and Support Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18798.
×
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Suggested Citation:"3 How Victim and Support Services Can Help." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2014. Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States: A Guide for Providers of Victim and Support Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18798.
×
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Suggested Citation:"3 How Victim and Support Services Can Help." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2014. Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States: A Guide for Providers of Victim and Support Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18798.
×
Page 26
Suggested Citation:"3 How Victim and Support Services Can Help." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2014. Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States: A Guide for Providers of Victim and Support Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18798.
×
Page 27
Suggested Citation:"3 How Victim and Support Services Can Help." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2014. Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States: A Guide for Providers of Victim and Support Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18798.
×
Page 28
Suggested Citation:"3 How Victim and Support Services Can Help." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2014. Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States: A Guide for Providers of Victim and Support Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18798.
×
Page 29
Suggested Citation:"3 How Victim and Support Services Can Help." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2014. Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States: A Guide for Providers of Victim and Support Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18798.
×
Page 30
Suggested Citation:"3 How Victim and Support Services Can Help." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2014. Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States: A Guide for Providers of Victim and Support Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18798.
×
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Suggested Citation:"3 How Victim and Support Services Can Help." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2014. Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States: A Guide for Providers of Victim and Support Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18798.
×
Page 32
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Commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors in the United States are frequently overlooked, misunderstood, and unaddressed domestic problems. In the past decade, they have received increasing attention from advocates, the media, academics, and policy makers. However, much of this attention has focused internationally. This international focus has overshadowed the reality that commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors also occur every day within the United States. Commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors not only are illegal activities, but also result in immediate and long-term physical, mental, and emotional harm to victims and survivors. A nation that is unaware of these problems or disengaged from solving them unwittingly contributes to the ongoing abuse of minors and all but ensures that these crimes will remain marginalized and misunderstood.

The 2013 Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council report Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States increases awareness and understanding of the crucial problem of commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors in the United States. By examining emerging strategies for preventing and identifying these crimes, for assisting and supporting victims and survivors, and for addressing exploiters and traffickers, that report offers a path forward through recommendations designed to increase awareness and understanding and to support efforts to prevent, identify, and respond to these crimes.

Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States: A Guide for Providers of Victim and Support Services offers a more concise and focused perspective on the problem and emerging solutions for providers of victim and support services for children and adolescents. These service providers include policy makers, leaders, practitioners, organizations, and programs at the local, state, and federal levels. This guide will be a valuable resource for them, and for child welfare and child protective services, other agencies and programs within the state and federal governments (e.g., the U.S. Department of Justice's Office for Victims of Crime), and nongovernmental organizations.

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