By virtue of the sensitive nature of the crime, the vulnerability of the victims, the various agencies involved to address the problem, the long-term support required to keep survivors from revictimization, and the underlying conditions that perpetuate this type of trade, no doubt child sex trafficking is a complex issue.
This webinar features three speakers from intersecting organizations that aim to address commercial sexual exploitation of children and support its survivors. First, is Rebecca Burney, the Attorney and Youth Advocacy Coordinator at Rights4Girls. Next is Beth Bouchard, the Associate Director at the Children’s Advocacy Center of Suffolk County. And finally, Ann Wilkinson is the Director of Mentoring Services at My Life My Choice.
Topics included in this session are:
- A discussion on Domestic Child Sex Trafficking (DCST) and how Rights4Girls is involved in support and education initiatives to shed light on this issue.
- The qualifiers on what is classified as such.
- A glimpse of the DCST victim demographics.
- The various risk factors that put youth in danger of being entangled in DCST.
- The gender and racial disparities at play in DCST victims and exploiters.
- The intersection observed between involvement in the child welfare system, justice system, and DCST.
- Suffolk County’s Children’s Advocacy Center’s multidisciplinary approach to tackling commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC).
- A brief history of how the jurisdiction established the Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC), the Support to End Exploitation Now (SEEN) program, and their multi-disciplinary team (MDT) in response to CSEC.
- An overview of the work SEEN has been involved in over the years through data that helped them identify risk factors and direct their resources and efforts.
- The comprehensive list of stakeholders involved in the MDT.
- The victim-centric lens that the stakeholders adapt when working on CSEC cases.
- The Memorandum of Understanding that they instituted to define the stakeholders’ roles in the MDT as well as the type of collaboration expected of them.
- A glimpse into the MDT protocol when providing intervention, response, and support to CSEC victims.
- The critical role of the youth in the program.
- How My Life My Choice supports and assists survivors of sex trafficking.
- Their unique perspective as a survivor-led agency, staffed by survivors who undergone a transformational journey into becoming experts with a deeper understanding of the issue’s dynamics.
- Their aim to empower survivors, train, advocate, and educate on the issue and provide preventive solutions.
- The mentoring program they provide to empower survivors – who the mentors are and the nature of the relationship between mentors and mentees.
- A glance into the survivors served by the program so far and outcomes of the program.
Questions raised by the webinar participants are on:
- What trauma bonds are.
- The inclusion of the term ‘girls of color’.
- References for the findings cited.
- Funding sources of the programs.
- Findings and resources about the traffickers.
Handouts and Resources:
- My Life, My Choice: Survivor Mentoring Handout
- My Life, My Choice: Evaluation Study Report
- Support to End Exploitation Now (SEEN): Multi-Disciplinary Response Model
- SEEN: MOU Example
- SEEN: Guide to Responding to Exploited Youth
- Rights4Girls: Native Women and Girls Fact Sheet
- Rights4Girls: Black Girls DCST
- Rights4Girls: Racial Disparity Fact Sheet
- Rights4Girls: Child Welfare and DCST
- Enhancing the Identification of Commercial Sexual Exploitation Among a Population of High-Risk Youths Using Predictive Regularization Models, by Ieke de Vries, Matthew Kafafian, Kelly Goggin, and Amy Farrell, published in the Journal of Child Maltreatment
Other Webinars in this Series:
- Intersectionality and Reducing Girls Justice System Environment
- Combating Domestic Child Sex Trafficking: A Multi-Disciplinary Response (this webinar)
- Aug 12: Asking the Right Questions: Collaborative Approaches and Strategies to Identify and Serve Child Sex Trafficking Survivors
- Oct 6: Family Violence and Abuse to Prison Pipeline for Girls
- “I valued hearing from an organization that is survivor based.” — Ana
- “The beginning of the webinar was very interesting. I thought the facts and statistics were the most interesting.” — Bridget
- “It seemed like there was a lot of information shared in a very short period of time.” – Chrissy
- “The most important thing I learned was the issue pertaining to child welfare and the propensity for young children to become involved in exploitation. I also learned of the high number/percentage of children of color in the foster care system. Very valuable information. This was a great presentation!” — Dora
- “The whole process of sexual exploitation of a child, the training was great! Rebecca, Ann and Elizabeth were wonderful. Lots of insight over the materials and great conversations with everyone.” — Elonda
- “There were some impressive (and unfortunate) statistics. I appreciated that the speakers made mention of how institutionalized racism impacts survivors of domestic sex trafficking of minors.” — Camille
- “Fantastic example of how an MDT approach can be used in multiple applications/issues.” — Jennifer
- “The statistics were all the way around, eye opening. It was good that they did not shy away from pointing to the flaws of the justice system that keep cycles of abuse intact and continuing to damage. All of the presenters had important insight and experience.” – Tina