Last year I began working with a Los Angeles-based group called the Human Trafficking Housing Solutions Coalition, which includes three organizations: 1736 Family Crisis Center, Covenant House, and Saving Innocence, which have a long history of service to domestic violence victims and homeless and at-risk youth. The Coalition was formed through a grant from the State of California to help such organizations better assist local human trafficking victims. Through our work, we closely examined their policies with regard to trafficking victims and identified some major deficiencies in terms of our ability to assist trafficking victims. Such organizations often assume that they are equipped to handle the needs of their human trafficking clients because their employees had received extensive training on domestic violence issues and have served such clients for years. However, as we soon discovered, working with homeless youth and victims of domestic violence does not, in fact, translate into adequate training and knowledge to handle the unique needs of trafficking clients. Instead, the organizational efforts of groups providing services to these clients must be tailored. We have also found that trafficking victims cannot be lumped into one category. The needs of each subset of victims since can be vastly different. This includes sex trafficking versus labor trafficking victims or foreign-born versus domestic victims.
Author: Mellissa Withers
Published By: Psychology Today
Date: Jan. 26, 2017
Publication Link: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/modern-day-slavery/201701/efforts-reach-human-trafficking-victims-are-falling-short