Taking a trauma-informed approach has been central when it comes to handling the victims and survivors of violence. To do this successfully may entail the expertise of people who actually went through the same experience, horrific as it may be, to be able to fully connect with survivors and direct them towards desired outcomes. This session will share how Multnomah County leveraged sex trafficking survivors to support criminal justice response and the mission to end sex trafficking through the Multnomah County’s Sex Trafficking Community Advisory Board (CAB).
This session’s instructors are Claire Barrera and Alexandra Appleton. Claire has been working in the movement to end interpersonal violence for over 20 years and currently works as a facilitator of the CAB. Meanwhile, Alexandra is a survivor of homelessness, incarceration, domestic violence, and sexual assault, who taps into her experience to support others as an advisor through the CAB.
The discussion covered:
- The rationale behind leveraging sex trafficking survivors for the CAB and the intention to uplift their voices.
- Considerations during the inception phase of the CAB – funding source, goals, target demographics, and feedback mechanism.
- Factors taken into account for the CAB’s structure
- Fair compensation for the expertise that the survivors will be providing.
- The different aspects of accessibility of the program and its services to both the CAB members and the clients they will be serving.
- Professional development opportunities that the board members can take.
- The CAB members’ time commitment that ensures program effectiveness and a sense of continuity while providing flexibility to the CAB members.
- The manpower required to guarantee diversity in perspective and consensus in decision making.
- Confidentiality and safety considerations given the sensitive nature of the board members and the program’s clients.
- The time commitment for meetings, the meeting facilitation, decision-making, and conflict-handling considerations.
- A look into the applicant outreach process and how it ensured accessibility to the target segment, diversity of the applicants, fairness, and scoring consistency.
- The orientation that the selected CAB members went through that touched on the organizational purpose and structure, the role of and expectations from the members, payment arrangements, and members’ self-care plans.
- The work outside of the CAB and the regular meetings done by the DOCJ facilitator.
- The challenges the CAB had with funding, system support, staff turnover, and the pandemic.
- A CAB member’s experience – the need for equity, inclusion and a seat at the table, the power dynamics and biases that play a part in trafficking, and providing support and setting survivors up for success.
- Realizations through the CAB’s efforts including:
- How the system isn’t addressing the issue and the reality of a survivor’s life that pose barriers to cooperation and moving forward.
- How conflicts amongst members can be resolved.
- Why it is critical to raise awareness on the causes and effects of trafficking.
- The need for criminal justice reform to hinder criminalization of survivors and potential re-traumatization and compounding of trauma.
- Unpacking the dynamics of exploitation and how this should inform all initiatives.
Questions raised by the webinar attendees are on:
- Listing the CAB in one’s resume that upholds concepts of confidentiality.
- The CABS’s goals and accomplishments.
- What the onboarding process looks like.
- Determining appropriate financial stipend.
- Managing expectations of all stakeholders on what the CAB should achieve.
Other Webinars with These Speakers
- March 30: Effectively Building a Community Advisory Board for Individuals Who Have Experienced Violence (this webinar)
- Oct 12: Victim Centered Support in Probation
- “The insights here may help in developing a follow-up group/project to the virtual victims’ rights summit we have planned for next month. It raised some points I hadn’t considered during my earlier brainstorming on what such a group might look like. Alexandra obviously had valuable insights….” — Vladimir
- “Most valuable thing learned: the decision-making process must include those with lived experiences.” — RoseMarie
- “Very good workshop; and great information shared, as well as personal experiences.” — Mark
- “The most valuable thing that I learned was the need to believe in the people who have lived experience. That they have something important to contribute to Advisory boards.” — Marquita
- “The content included in this webinar will be beneficial to how our agency approaches DV support groups, and how to get appropriate feedback on those groups.” — Angela
- “This was wonderful training. Thank you to the presenters for sharing their experience and for giving us tips for things to consider when creating trauma-informed community advisory boards.” — Haley
- “I love the positive insight personally and how it’s no judgment zone especially to those victims. I love the awareness you guys are bringing to the community about sex trafficking because it’s a worldwide issue that needs a lot of attention.” — Joann