2018 Conference Highlights
HT-RADAR’s 2018 Human Trafficking Research Conference featured some of the most current national and regional research on human trafficking. This one-day conference included keynotes from Autumn Burris and Dr. Hanni Stoklosa, panels, and 18 presentations from organizations and universities such as Polaris Project, the Urban Institute, Arizona State University and Loyola University New Orleans. Awards were granted to three local leaders for their significant contributions to anti-trafficking efforts in San Diego: Sergeant Matthew Blumenthal, Judge Carolyn Caietti, and Jessica Whitney. About 150 attendees participated at the conference, representing a wide range of stakeholders and 80 organizations, agencies, and institutions. Thank you to PLNU and our County of San Diego partner, the District Attorney’s Office, for helping to make this conference possible. To view more conference pictures, please visit: ht-radar.abolishhumantrafficking.com.
On June 28, HT-RADAR held its eighth quarterly meeting with 35 participants from various San Diego organizations in attendance. Susan Munsey, LCSW, who is the founder and Director of Programs of GenerateHope, presented on their research entitled, “GenerateHope: A Comprehensive Treatment Model for Sex Trafficked Women”. This article was published in the Journal of Evidence-Informed Social Work. Other agenda topics included conference highlights and a discussion led by Dr. Lianne Urada about funding and San Diego’s current human trafficking and CSEC research needs. Dr. Urada is an Assistant Professor at San Diego State University and is currently the Co-Chair of the Research Subcommittee of the San Diego Human Trafficking & CSEC Advisory Council.
A Supportive Adult May be the Difference in Homeless Youth Not Being Trafficked
Makini Chisolm-Straker, MD, MPH; Jeremy Sze, BA; Julia Einbond, JD; James White, MBA, MSW; & Hanni Stoklosa, MD, MPH
Purpose. To explore the factors that differentiate trafficked homeless youth from not-trafficked homeless youth. Methods. From November 2015–February 2017, homeless youth served by Covenant House New Jersey, aged 18–22, received a trafficking assessment. Youth were stratified based upon trafficking experience, and their responses to demographic and social history questions were examined for association with trafficking occurrence. Results. Of 344 participants, 9.6% had a trafficking experience. Having an Individualized Education Program/504 plan was, for the first time in anti-trafficking literature, associated with a trafficking experience in bivariable analysis. IEP/504 plans are developed for school-aged children whose ability to succeed in traditional educational formats is challenged by learning, social, or functional problems. In the multivariable analysis, a history of arrest was associated with being trafficked while the presence of a supportive adult was associated with not being trafficked. Gender was not associated with a trafficking experience. Conclusions. This study is the largest to specifically assess homeless youth’s demographic and social variables for association with trafficking experience. Homeless youth who are and are not trafficked share similar life experiences, but those with a supportive adult in their life had lower odds of being trafficked. Building upon our research, future investigations exploring order of occurrence will elucidate the risk factors for and protective factors against trafficking among homeless youth, contributing to evidence-based prevention efforts.
Chisolm-Straker, M., Sze, J., Einbond, J., White, J., & Stoklosa, H. (2018). A supportive adult may be the difference in homeless youth not being trafficked. Children and Youth Services Review, 91, 115-120.
The Voices of Survivors: An Exploration of the Contributing Factors that Assisted with Exiting from Commercial Sexual Exploitation in Childhood
Annie Corbett, PhD
According to the FBI, cases of CSEC have increased considerably in the United States over the past few years, with over 1.1 million reported cases (ECPATUSA, 2017), particularly in the Northern California San Francisco Bay Area. From a strengths-based trauma-informed perspective, this study explored the factors that assist youth with exiting the life associated with CSEC. The primary research question was, “What can be learned from the lived experiences of women who successfully exited childhood commercial sexual exploitation and perceive themselves to be functioning well despite this history?”
This qualitative study employed semi-structured interviews with 13 predominately women of color, average age of 25 (range 21–26), who successfully exited the Life after enduring an average of 4 years (range 1–9). The average age for the group for becoming exploited was 13 (range 8–17), with all exiting during their 17th year. A thematic analysis identified 20 themes organized under three primary categories. The first category, Self-Defined Wellness (4): naming of self-outside the Life, positive family connections, breaking the cycle, and embracing the term survivor. The second, Describing the Life (6): sex for goods, surviving the Game, pimp control, wanting to be loved/look good, contributing family factors, and the grooming process. The third, Exiting Process (10): naming one who has exited, others depend on me, not profitable to exit, fear keeps you in, thinking about leaving, the role of family, pending motherhood, wanting to be free, sustaining exit, and professional systems not accessed. There were four recommendations from survivors: active listening, encouragement, non-judgment, and don’t leave when we push. Two anecdotal themes emerged: treated like garbage by the legal system, and I thought I was grown.
Corbett, A. (2018). The voices of survivors: An exploration of the contributing factors that assisted with exiting from commercial sexual exploitation in childhood. Children and Youth Services Review, 85, 91-98.
Annie Corbett, PhD, is the President and CEO of Corbett Homes Inc. Annie’s expertise lies in the area of Public Administration, facilitating the relationships within the foster care community and public officials at the county and state level, while fostering the future vision, progress and growth of Corbett Group Homes. In December 2013, Annie founded the R.I.S.E. Program. The founding of The R.I.S.E. Program, as “sister” of Corbett Group Homes, Inc., is an extension of the passion for youth in foster care, children left behind, and children people prefer to not think about. Annie received her PhD in Psychology with a concentration on transformative social change from Saybrook Graduate School & Research Center.
Justice in Their Own Words: Perceptions and Experiences of (In)Justice among Human Trafficking Survivors
Hanna Love, BA; Jeanette Hussemann, PhD; Lilly Yu, BA; Evelyn McCoy, MA; & Colleen Owens, BA
Survivors of human trafficking face many challenges when interacting with the criminal justice system, including misconceptions regarding the nature of their victimization, stigma due to perceived involvement in illegal behavior, and xenophobia. Despite these documented challenges, little is known about how survivors perceive the justice system or how they would like to achieve justice with regard to their traffickers. This brief fills that gap by asking 80 survivors of human trafficking how they define justice on their own terms. Less than a quarter of respondents endorsed traditional criminal justice remedies, such as incarceration. Instead, most felt justice could be better achieved through prevention. This brief discusses implications of these findings and elaborates on survivors’ recommendations for how policy and practice can be improved.
Love, H., Hussemann, J., Yu, L., McCoy, E., & Owens, C. (2018). Justice in their own words: Perceptions and experiences of (in)justice among human trafficking survivors. The Urban Institute. Retrieved from https://www.urban.org/research/publication/justice-their-own-words.
Hanna Love, BA, is a research analyst in the Urban Institute’s Justice Policy Center. Her research focuses on juvenile and adult criminal justice reform and improving criminal justice system responses to survivors of violence. She has experience working on various justice policy issues, including survivors’ perceptions of the justice system, decarceration, closing youth prisons, state and local policy reform, and translating research to practice for system stakeholders and practitioners. Love works primarily on in-depth qualitative data collection methods and is experienced in project design, primary data collection and analysis, and project management.
Opportunities & Resources
- 23rd International Summit on Violence, Abuse & Trauma, Sept. 6-9 in San Diego, CA
- 15th International Human Trafficking & Social Justice Conference, Sept. 20-21 in Toledo, OH
- 2018 JuST Conference, Oct. 16-18 in San Diego, CA
- APHA 2018 Annual Meeting & Expo, Nov. 10-14 in San Diego, CA
- SAHM 2019 Annual Meeting, March 6-9, 2019 in Washington, DC
please visit: ht-radar.abolishhumantrafficking.com.
please visit: ht-radar.abolishhumantrafficking.com.
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