Thorn will join our partners in the San Francisco Bay Area to support their efforts against human trafficking leading up to Super Bowl 50 this Sunday.
Major national events like the Super Bowl tend to bring about an influx of human trafficking victims supplied to buyers. In response, Bay Area law enforcement, organizations and service providers have teamed up to tackle the issue leading to the weekend by using an innovative, victim-centered approach.
A New Approach to Reach Victims of Human Trafficking
Here are three key takeaways about this week’s anti-human trafficking efforts from an article in the Associated Press highlighting their efforts:
- Nonprofits and law enforcement agencies are working together to implement a victim-centered approach. Local law enforcement will make initial contact with victims before service providers step in to provide aftercare resources. “The goal is to reach anyone who is being trafficked,” according to FBI Supervisory Special Agent Doug Hunt. The Bay Area has a system-wide network in place to make sure that victims receive the care and attention they need after being identified.
- While experts say that there is no evidence that more women and girls are trafficked during the Super Bowl, researchers who have studied human trafficking leading up to the 2015 Super Bowl found an uptick in online sex ads of females.
- Advocates say that those being trafficked are often hesitant to aid in the prosecution of their pimps. “A lot of times they don’t see themselves as victims,” said Jennifer Madden, a local prosecutor for Alameda County who has worked with trafficked girls as the head of the Human Exploitation and Trafficking (H.E.A.T.) Unit. “They don’t fully grasp how they’ve come into this, how they are being exploited, and they may not be amenable to services.”
At Thorn, we’re focused on learning from the experiences of trafficked victims and survivors to build impactful tools to help them get out of their situations. If you suspect that someone you know is being trafficked or that you are being trafficked yourself, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text BeFree (233733).