ENC Stop Human Trafficking Now’s training and educational initiatives include a Hotel Training Program, a Prevention Outreach Program directed to Middle School and High School students, Foster Care Outreach to DSS Staff, Foster Children and Parents, and Medical Personnel Training. Training for Truck Drivers is planned for later this year.
The first hour of the training is essentially the same for all the groups: What is Human Trafficking? What does it look like in North Carolina? What is the law in NC? We also teach some of the key vulnerabilities, so participants can be aware and possibly intervene before a person is victimized.
The second hour is more specific to the group being trained; we study cases that happened in their area of expertise. (For instance, victims rescued from a hotel, or cases concerning foster-care involved youth.) We discuss Red Flags and warning signs that their specific profession would be in a position to notice.
Hotel Education Program
The Facts on Human Trafficking in Hotels
According to Polaris, hotels/motels are one of the top three sex trafficking venues in the U.S. (Source: http://www.polarisproject.org/)
Of the 110 confirmed cases that Polaris Identified in North Carolina in 2015, 16 were found in hotels, which makes hotels/motels the top venue for confirmed cases in NC. (The venue is not always reported.)(Source: http://www.traffickingresourcecenter.org/state/north-carolina)
History of our Hotel Education Program
This program was created by an intern, who researched and created a complete curriculum for the staffs of hotels. We have provided a two-hour training to the staffs of seven Greenville NC hotels.
Foster Care Training Program
The Facts on Foster Child Vulnerability
Foster youth are at an extremely high risk for becoming a victim of human trafficking.
“In 2013, 60 percent of the child sex trafficking victims recovered as part of a FBI nationwide raid from over 70 cities were children from foster care or group homes.”
“In 2012, Connecticut reported 88 child victims of sex trafficking. Eighty-six were child welfare involved, and most reported abuse while in foster care or residential placement.
“A survey conducted by the Los Angeles Probation Department revealed that 59 percent of the 174 juveniles arrested on prostitution-related charges in the county were in the foster care system and victims were often recruited by sex traffickers and pimps from group homes.”
In North Carolina there are roughly 9,500 youth that are in foster care in any given month.
In 2013, 40 were reported as runaway children, and in 2014, 60 to 70 were reported as runaway children. (Since running away increases vulnerability, this is especially troubling.)
History of our Foster Care Training Program
We train Foster Care social workers and foster parents to identify signs that a child is being groomed, so the child can be protected. We also help them understand the unique vulnerabilities that foster children have to being trafficked. We share stories from former foster children who are survivors of human trafficking.
This is a comprehensive two-hour human trafficking training for Foster Care Social Workers and Foster Parents. In 2015, this was presented this 3 times. So far in 2016, we’ve conducted this training four times.
Healthcare Professional Training Program
The Facts on Healthcare and Human Trafficking
“Healthcare providers are likely to encounter victims of Human Trafficking and may be in a position to offer assistance. According to Peters, 30% will seek medical treatment for illnesses or injuries while in captivity.3 This makes it especially important for providers to be able to recognize victims and offer assistance.” (Source: http://nurse-practitioners-and-physician-assistants.advanceweb.com/Features/Articles/Sex-Trafficking-of-Women-in-the-US.aspx, Peters K. The growing business of human trafficking and the power of emergency nurses to stop it. J Emerg Nurs. 2013;39(3):280-288.)
One study found that 28% of trafficked women saw a health care professional while still in captivity. This represents a serious missed opportunity for intervention (Source: Family Violence Prevention Fund. San Francisco, CA: Family Violence Prevention Fund; [January 3, 2010]. Turning pain into power: Trafficking survivors’ perspectives on early intervention strategies. Available from, www.childhood-usa.org/upl/files/4109.pdf; 2005.)
Another study suggests that 87.8% of victims had some form of contact with a health care provider. (Source: “The Health Consequences of Sex Trafficking and Their Implication for Identifying Victims in Healthcare Facilities” Lederer, Wetzel, Published in Annals of Health Law, Vol 23, Issue 1 (Winter 2014) Of the 563 calls made to the Hotline from NC in 2014, only 10 of those were made by healthcare professionals.
History of our Healthcare Professional Training Program
In speaking with healthcare professionals, we learned that human trafficking may occasionally be mentioned in classes, but they do not receive training in recognizing the signs or how to respond. This is true in nursing schools as well as medical schools.
Thankfully, efforts are being made to provide Human Trafficking training to the healthcare community. One powerful resource is HEAL Trafficking; Health, Education, Advocacy, Linkage.
Our local initiative began in 2015. We conducted a regional training for the NC Nurses Association, and partnered with the ECU School of Nursing to offer the training there, as well. Our Founder also trained a ECU Physician’s Assistant class, and a Certified Medical Assistant Class in Lenoir County.
So far in 2016, we’ve provided trainings to the staff of ECU Student Health Services and Nash Hospital Pediatric ER staff, conducted a Regional Training for Nurse Leaders of North Carolina, and trained the ECU Public Health Organization.
The Facts on Truck Drivers’ Role in Human Trafficking
According to Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT), the over 7 million truck drivers in America are the “eyes and ears of our nation’s highways” and are “one of the most motivated and well-organized industry groups on this issue”. TAT reports that truckers have made over 1371 calls to the NHTRC hotline, identifying 425 likely cases of human trafficking since its inception in 2009. (Source: http://www.truckersagainsttrafficking.org/making-an-impact/)
Because truckers are constantly on the highway, they are in a prime position to identify and report potential victims of trafficking, if they know what to look for. Additionally, many truck stops are close to illegitimate spas and salons that exploit trafficking victims.
We intend to offer to educate the students at 20 truck driving schools in NC so that they will know how to spot and report potential victims not only here in our community, but around the country, increasing the number of victims rescued.
We believe First Responders are an important group to train because they are the first to interact with a potential victim in an emergency situation. In many cases, the only way for a victim to be identified is if someone comes to the home or business unexpectedly (because they rarely leave the premises and probably aren’t allowed to interact with visitors).
By teaching them what signs to look for, we can help increase their effectiveness in spotting and assisting victims. They may also be able to provide more complete services to victims if they understand the potential trauma a victim has undergone, separate from the emergency event.
The research on First Responders is scarce because this group has only recently started receiving training and reporting statistics, but the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has extended their Blue Campaign to include First Responders, (https://www.dhs.gov/blue-campaign/awareness-training) so it is apparent that this is an important group in the fight against trafficking.