Human trafficking is defined by the United Nations as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons through use of force, coercion, deception or other means, for the purpose of exploiting them. In the United States, the number of trafficked victims is largely unknown, but we do know that every day more vulnerable people are trafficked into the sex trade and labor industry. In 2013, the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) hotline received multiple reports of human trafficking cases in all 50 states and D.C.
Just like prevention, achieving equity and inclusivity for people who are traditionally on the margins of our culture is a multi-step process. Taking action to make our spaces welcoming to people who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, or Queer (LGBTQ) requires work at many organizational levels.
Healing from child sexual abuse (CSA) can be a lifelong journey. As national TA providers, we get lots of questions from adult survivors of CSA who are looking for referrals, resources and answers to some challenging questions.
Since releasing the TA Guidance, Birth Doulas and Shelter Advocates: Creating Partnerships and Building Capacity [21 p], and hosting a webinar on Trauma-Informed Birth Support for Survivors of Abuse [1 hr 24 min], the NRCDV has received several TA questions about how advocates can support pregnant survivors accessing domestic violence related services. One of the NRCDV staff moonlights as a birth doula, or childbirth/labor companion, and she offers the following advice:
A requestor recently contacted the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) asking for resources and ideas to develop a training for student-professionals working in campus residence halls. The goal was to review basics but also challenge students to move to the “next level” in providing an empathetic response to sexual assault disclosures.
While limited research exists regarding the prevalence of gender based violence within the Deaf community, it is known that Deaf individuals experience violence at significant rates. Findings from a computerized American Sign Language survey suggest that deaf adults who use sign language experience notably higher rates of intimate partner violence than does the general population (Pollard, Sutter & Cerulli, 2013). Similarly, data from sexual assault service providers (both Deaf and hearing) suggests that sexual assault is a significant problem in the Deaf community, although many providers do not see Deaf clients presenting with sexual assault issues (Obinna, Krueger, Osterbaan, Sadusky & DeVore, 2006). This is because Deaf survivors experience profound isolation and lack of options in seeking help. Services are generally unavailable to this group in hearing agencies. Moreover, disclosure to formal support services about abuse may be hindered by the intimacy that exists in the Deaf community (Obinna et al., 2006).