Both sex and labor trafficking survivors often speak of encountering professionals during the period when they were trafficked. A victim might be taken to a hospital emergency room, but s/he is too afraid to speak out. A youth in juvenile detention is labelled a criminal and fails to be identified as a trafficking victim. In school, a student's grades plummet or s/he suddenly begins wearing expensive clothes.
If no one is asking the right questions - victims are Hidden in Plain Sight.
Washington Engage is now training professionals to identify the signs of trafficking in their patients, students and clients. We are educating healthcare workers, educators, juvenile detention staff, and other frontline professionals on the psycho-social dynamics of trafficking - engaging a potential victim in open dialog, and identifying community resources for victim safety and referrals.
Wherever possible, WA Engage invites a trafficking survivor to present alongside the trainer, bringing the Survivor Voice and personal experience to the dialog.
In 2015, WA Engage provided education and training on human trafficking to over 1,600 professionals and community members!
2016 projects include work with tribal nations to address sex trafficking in Native American communities where trafficking has been identified as one of the top three issues facing Native women and girls over the next few years. In February, WA Engage presented to over 200 tribal leaders at the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians Conference, and in June WA Engage hosted a workshop for youth and service providers at the 2nd Annual Native Youth Community of Care Conference.
WA Engage is increasingly committed to work with the court system and raising awareness of the vulnerability of human trafficking victims: In April, WA Engage gave a plenary presentation to 150 misdemeanor probation officers at the Annual MCA Conference in Olympia. In partnership with the Thurston County Juvenile Court, WA Engage is training management and staff on screening youth housed at the juvenile detention center and on probation for signs of trafficking, and assisting management in development of an Immediate Response protocol.
For further information on the Professional Training Program or to request a presentation, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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