When a loved one goes missing, time is critical. Law enforcement partners play a pivotal role in taking reports, initiating searches, and the rapid distribution of information to other local, state, federal, and Tribal law enforcement. On October 26, 2023, panelists shared their insight on how to engage, educate, and partner with law enforcement in investigating Missing or Murdered Indigenous People (MMIP) cases and supporting families of MMIP.
Survivors of human trafficking have diverse needs and often receive assistance from a wide array of organizations that may vary in the underlying philosophy of services and models of practice. Establishing a consistent quality of care focused on reducing potential harm is a central principle to serving survivors of human trafficking. This no-cost webinar from Aug.
Providing victim services within a Tribal court setting offers survivors confidential, victim-centered services, advocacy, and assistance in a non-judgmental, supportive environment. These services reflect the dignity, cultural beliefs, needs, and voices of survivors. American Indian and Alaska Native panelists shared their insights on how to start or expand victim service efforts within a Tribal court.
Talking Circle - Broadening Your Circle of Support: Resources to Help Healing in Your Tribal Community
Building and maintaining victim service programs require resources. Staff, program management, training, and funding are all necessary to sustain a tribal victim service program. Join a live webinar discussion on broadening your circle of support. On November 2, Michelle Cook, Shelley Jacobs, and Desiree Coyote answered questions about available federal funds and how they can be used to manage program operations, offer culturally sensitive services and healing programs, and pay for emergency service support such as housing and transportation.
Most victims of human trafficking do not self-identify or seek help because of the profound and prolonged trauma they experience. Traffickers often deceive victims with false promises of love, a good job, or a stable life, then lure or force them into trafficking; a trafficker may even look like an intimate partner. Recognizing the signs of trafficking and knowing how to offer support is critical in helping a victim heal.
Talking Circle: Exploring the Intersections Between Human Trafficking and Missing or Murdered Indigenous People
Human trafficking harms the body and spirit. Learn about the connection between human trafficking and Missing or Murdered Indigenous People (MMIP). Both human trafficking and MMIP victims may have been exposed to domestic and sexual violence, adverse childhood experiences, substance use, poverty, and homelessness. While human trafficking can happen to anyone anywhere, traffickers often exploit these vulnerabilities.
Intergenerational and historical trauma have existed for hundreds of years within tribal communities. Understanding this history as well as the impact of complex trauma on survivors of human trafficking is critical to supporting their healing process. On June 9, 2022, Desiree Coyote, Lu-Anne Haukaas, and Guadalupe Lopez convened to answer participant questions on recognizing and addressing trauma from a human trafficking survivor's lived experience. The Talking Circle series is sponsored by the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), Human Trafficking Capacity Building Center.
Grassroots efforts working to increase national awareness and understanding of the missing or murdered indigenous persons crisis are highlighted in this video. Also referred to as Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW), Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG), Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives (MMIR), or other names specific to a Tribal community (such as Missing and Murdered Diné Relatives, MMDR, in the Navajo Nation); each acronym represents the generations of American Indians and Alaska Natives that have mourned missing or murdered loved ones.
Ensuring equity and inclusion of services for all individuals who experience human trafficking means addressing the needs of men and boys. On April 28, 2022, a panel of experts convened to discuss men and boys’ experiences with human trafficking. The Ask an Expert series is sponsored by the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), Human Trafficking Capacity Building Center. This webinar session was offered in partnership with the Office on Trafficking in Persons’ National Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance Center (NHTTAC).
Episode #3 - Reawakening the Spirit Podcast: Federal Human Trafficking Resources for Tribal Communities
In this episode of Reawakening the Spirit podcast, host Tyesha Wood discusses federal resources available to Tribal communities for responding to human trafficking with guest Kimberly Woodard, a Senior Tribal Affairs Specialist with the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC). Kimberly shares her insight on Project Beacon, an OVC program committed to increasing the quantity and quality of holistic, victim-centered services available to assist American Indian and Alaska Native victims of sex trafficking in urban areas.
Episode #2 - Reawakening the Spirit Podcast: Survivor-Centered Support for Native Victims of Human Trafficking
In this episode of Reawakening the Spirit podcast, host Tyesha Wood discusses healing the whole person and the power of relationships in supporting victims of human trafficking with guest Shayla Beaumont (Chippewa Cree). Shayla shares her insight on meeting the survivor where they are at and letting them navigate their way to healing; “The journey for everyone doesn’t look the same.” Shayla is the former case manager for Project Beacon at All Nations Health Center located in Missoula, Montana.
Safeguarding Our Children from Human Trafficking: Using Culture as A Protective and Healing Influence Among Native Youth
Historical trauma and current risk factors make Indigenous people vulnerable to many forms of crime victimization, including labor and sex trafficking. Additionally, higher percentages of American Indian and Alaska Native children are living in poverty, involved in the juvenile justice system, and the foster care system, increasing their vulnerability to human trafficking.
In this episode of Reawakening the Spirit podcast, host Tyesha Wood discusses trauma and human trafficking in Tribal communities with guest Heather Atsye (Pueblo Laguna). Heather shares her insight on intergenerational trauma, complex trauma, and personal trauma discussing and their connection to human trafficking and impact on Tribal communities.
Securing funding for anti-trafficking work while maintaining daily operations can be a challenge. Victims of human trafficking require trauma-informed, holistic services. A panel of human trafficking experts, including representatives from the National Center for Victims of Crime and More Too Life, discussed strategic and sustainable approaches to fund anti-trafficking work, finding and assessing funding opportunities, and writing competitive grant applications.
One organization cannot meet all of the needs of a human trafficking victim. Establishing partnerships with local organizations is essential for both identifying potential victims and offering comprehensive services. On October 21, 2021, a panel of experts representing Tapestri, Futures Without Violence, and Twelve 11 Partners discussed ways to support a human trafficking survivor’s long-term well-being through community partnerships.
While there is no defining characteristic of a human trafficking victim, traffickers often look for victims with noticeable vulnerabilities such as lack of social support networks, low self-esteem, or financial or housing insecurity. A panel of experts share information on ways human trafficking intersects with so many areas and how to support survivors in accessing services.
Determining how to spend federal funds for victim services can seem overwhelming. Whether an organization is starting, sustaining, or growing a victim services program, a broad range of resources are available to assist them in supporting the healing journey for victims.
Creating a human trafficking program, whether from the ground up or in addition to existing services, requires a multi-tiered approach. Internal organizational structure must be developed or enhanced alongside external service networks and partnerships. This discussion highlights steps in identifying the local need and defining a program’s vision, mission, and goals for its human trafficking victim services.
Ask an Expert: Human Trafficking Data - Using Local Data to Better Understand Trafficking in Your Community
Data is a valuable tool in reaching potential victims of human trafficking, recognizing patterns and tactics of perpetrators, identifying vulnerabilities in industry, and informing an organization’s policies, protocols, and partnerships in serving victims. This discussion includes information on data sources, applications of data, data analysis from multiple sources, and vulnerable population data to better understand human trafficking in a specific community.
The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) releases funding each year to support tribes and organization’s serving tribal communities in developing or sustaining crime victim services programs. During this conversation representatives from current OVC-funded tribal victim services programs and OVC staff discussed: (1) how to develop new and enhance existing tribal victim services programs and (2) how funding from OVC’s Tribal Victim Services Set-Aside Formula program can support these efforts.
Transitional housing can be a lifeline for victims of human trafficking. Finding adequate and appropriate emergency, transitional, and long-term housing for victims of human trafficking is often the biggest service-related challenge organizations face. Discussion topics include information on potential housing partners, understanding a rights-based approach focused on survivor short- and long-term needs, available federal funding, and how to build a housing program.