It is truly heartbreaking when children end up involved with the juvenile justice system over issues that they rarely have control over, worse, when they’re the victims and yet they’re being treated as if they’re criminals. Too often, this is the situation when it comes to Domestic Child Sex Trafficking (DCST),where instead of being rescued from the exploitative conditions that they are in, minors – mostly girls, are being arrested for prostitution.
Back on the Justice Clearinghouse are Rebecca Burney and Cherice Hopkins from Rights4Girls, a human rights organizations committed to ending gender-based violence. Rebecca is an Attorney and Equal Justice Work Fellow with experience working with survivors of sexual abuse. She provides mentoring and support to abused youth. Meanwhile, Cherice is a Staff Attorney mostly involved in policy research, education and reform in the effort to identify and address the root cause of problems girls are facing in the world today.
On this session, they will shine a light on the multi-disciplinary approach different jurisdictions are employing to combat DCST. Specifics of the course include:
- What characterizes domestic child sex trafficking.
- The nuances in language that make a difference in how DCST survivors are perceived.
- An overview of the profile of the victims and the buyers that highlight the stark difference between the two.
- Factors that put the youth at risk for domestic child sex trafficking.
- The likelihood of those under child welfare to be vulnerable to DCST based on statistics.
- The most common reasons why children do not leave the abusive environment or their abusers.
- A look into Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and how it correlates to trafficking as seen in the ACE scores of trafficked youth.
- Typical destructive responses that DCST survivors tend to take part in when not given a trauma-informed response.
- How the justice system criminalizes the victims, and the abuse to prison pipeline that takes girls, especially those of color, in for offenses that are mere results of the abuse they experience with records that consequentially hinder their opportunities for a better life once they become adults.
- The importance of looking past the behavior and the offense committed to genuinely understand what these trafficked children and youth are enduring.
- A comparison of the typical responses between two agencies, and how these produce different outcomes for the minors.
- Safe Harbor legislation that are being adopted across the US.
- How these protect child trafficking victims from arrest and prosecution and aims to espouse the idea of ‘victims, not criminals’.
- The variance between legislation across states and the challenges in implementation and inclusion.
- The various methods employed across states to further protect victims and survivors by sealing or expunging records that are results of DCST.
- A list of all the services and support that survivors need that underlines the importance of a collaborative approach across concerned agencies.
- Promising examples of jurisdictions that utilized a Multi-Disciplinary Approach when it comes to responding to and supporting victims and survivors of DCST.
- Audience questions are about:
- URLs for resources and meanings of acronyms mentioned.
- The age range of girls being trafficked.
- The race of the buyers.
- The trend of domestic child sex trafficking in the US.
- Statistics of girls at risk of DCST.
- The gaps that must be bridged to recognize victims from criminals.
- “The stats were eye-opening. Great presentation.” — Adriana
- “Good to know what is still needed to support survivors and change within the law enforcement system.” — Amanda
- “I appreciated the statistics. This training was not new to me, but it was a good refresher and I like having the updated statistics from the field.” — Ann
- “I found valuable information in the details provided towards the end of the presentation about states that have already implemented “Safe harbor” based programs.” — Jasmine
- “The presenters laid out their information clearly and well. The host was one of the most professional, prepared and well-spoken I’ve ever heard on any webinar.” –Kathy
- “The statistics were shocking. I was unaware of all the services to help victim and will be reaching out to them to assist our clients.” — Tracy
- “Excellent presentation on a TOUGH topic. Thank you!” — L
- “Loved these presenters and excellent information! Thanks!” 🙂 — Michaela
- “Coming to the sad realization that Trafficking is an epidemic and happening right under our noses.” — Shelley