SERVICE PROVIDERS AND SEX TRAFFICKING VICTIMS: The Need for Education
Prevention plays a key role in assisting service providers who help sex trafficking victims. Education/outreach and advocacy are two important aspects of preventive care that engage a spectrum of audiences. Policy makers, government and non-government organizations, businesses, educators, care providers, and the general public are examples of communities that have the ability to affect sex trafficking.
Bringing about awareness of sex trafficking’ realities (the imminence of the problem, its causes, and who it affects) to communities is necessary in counteracting the issue of sex-slavery.
The role of education goes beyond simply addressing the topic and its statistics. Instead, sex trafficking service providers are tasked with instructing communities on the systemic aspects of sex trafficking. This involves explaining how societies ignorantly legitimize and promote attitudes and norms that foster a culture of sexual exploitation and violence. Such cultures are created by the very societies service providers are educating. It is a community’s responsibility to act. Teaching and advocating for healthy environments and behaviors may help invoke social change. Subsequently, it also reduces the likelihood and frequency of these systemic problems caused by conflicting worldviews.
Furthermore, education can help identify victims and highlight potential vulnerable populations. Awareness of how traffickers work and whom they target may prevent sexual exploitation from occurring. Those vulnerable individuals and populations become cognizant of the systemic factors working against them. It is important to educate victims and susceptible groups about protective legal precedents so they might receive proper care and protection where it is available.
Follow this link https://swfl-humantrafficking.org/resources/ for resources in our community.
IDENTIFYING SEX TRAFFICKING VICTIM NEEDS:
Public policy and the community stakeholders have a major impact on sex trafficking victim needs. Many victims are criminalized instead of victimized due to legal codes that indict sex workers. Social marginalization, fear of criminalization, and mistreatment from legal authorities are common reasons for trafficking victims to not seek proper care.
Primary resources that sex trafficking victims need are advocates and supporters. Ideally within the government realm, who will identify them as victims and provide legal protection. It is imperative that law enforcement officials, policy makers, and attorneys continuously seek to protect sex workers as victims. Regardless of presuppositions. For example, the Florida Safe Harbor Act (2012) ensures that juveniles who are sexually exploited or at risk of exploitation are treated as victims under Florida law. In 2012, Florida passed House Bill 99, also known as the Florida Safe Harbor Act. This legislation allows minors to be deemed as dependent instead of delinquent. It gives law enforcement the discretion to either arrest or deliver the minor to a short-term safe house, if available. Victim-centered legal precedents such as this create a safe space for sex trafficking victims to seek and receive the protection and care they need.
Services that help restore victims and prevent them from being re-victimized start by providing housing placement. Followed by food and other basic needs. Medical/dental care, mental health services, case management is another step. Victims also need legal services, transportation, translation/interpretation and educational opportunities. ideally also on offer are job skill training and opportunities to join support groups. Restoration, reintegration, and representation are important elements of protecting sex-trafficked victims. It is necessary to implement a holistic approach to meeting victim needs. This prevents a victim’s relapse into a slave-based system. Serving victims through case management is an effective way. This ensures individual victims receive specialized care and continue toward freedom. The overall goal of assisting victims requires fulfilling their needs at every level: prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnership.