January is National Human Trafficking Awareness/Prevention Month. Human trafficking is also known as modern day slavery. It involves the exploitation of children and adults for forced labor or commercial sex. When anyone under 18 is involved in commercial sex it is a crime even if there is no force, fraud, or coercion.
Human trafficking is a $150 billion global industry annually .
(International Labour Organization, 2017).
The following video animation I Am Jasmine Strong – YouTube shows how risk factors increase a child’s vulnerability to exploitation, the grooming process, the power and control a trafficker has over a child, the resulting trauma bonds, and eventually the child’s awareness that she is a survivor of CSEC who learns there is support to heal.
Here’s a link to 13 videos of survivors sharing their stories at different points along the journey “in the life” The Life Story (each approximately 5 minutes)
How is K&FT involved in this work against human trafficking?
In December 2022, Rachel Pletcher, Caregiver Clinical Programs Manager, trained our clinical team on using the CSE-IT tool to universal screen all kids over age 10. This tool will help identify whether a child shows a certain level of concern about possible exploitation so we can help with prevention and early intervention. We can make internal referrals to our CSEC Family Empowerment Program.
On January 7, 2023, three K&FT team members attended the 16th Annual STOP Human Trafficking Walk and Speaker Panel put on by Soroptimist International of Camarillo, Oxnard, and Ventura. K&FT had a table with information on our CSEC Family Empowerment Program. Other providers were represented, including Ventura County Human Trafficking Task Force.
Here are some links you can check out to learn more about human trafficking, including CSEC:
National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1-888-373-7888