May 2016 Meeting Highlights
Becky Dymond spoke on the Volunteer Training and its implementation at the Hepzibah House with Human Trafficking Survivors.
Goal of Volunteer Training:
Definition of Human
Data per Dept of Justice:
is a $150 billion dollar industry
410 million per
80% of people
trafficked are women and girls
Florida is the
state with the 3 highest reports of Human Trafficking
Hepzibah House Mission:
release from the nightmare of Human Trafficking
lives and dignity
Hepzibah House Goals:
Open a safe house
of modern day slavery and sex trafficking
Zibah Treats: Program where
doggy treats are created and sold by survivors at Hepzibah House to provide employment
opportunities for the survivors and funding for Hepzibah House.
Vision: supportive community
where survivors move beyond trauma to triumph on their way to reintegration and
Becky discussed the
definition of Trauma and gave an explanation of the impact of trauma on victims
and survivors. She also went over the Silence Compliance Model as well as the Strength Based Approach.
She explained the differences between a strength based approach and a problem
based approach. Strength based principles
were also explored.
Stages of Change:
acknowledge problem but not invested in
making a change
Getting ready to make a life change; commitment
move from area of exploitations; cut off contact with pimps and old friends
remain out of life; new skills; network of support; avoid temptations; respond
to triggers successfully
to old life
Hepzibah House is funded by
private donations currently.
No Meeting in April 2016 in Observance of National Crime Victims' Rights Week 2016. See the HTCPB event info below!
We will be showing the first episode of “A Path Appears,” which takes a look at the issue of sex trafficking in the United States. The film is 90 minutes long. We will have a guest speaker from the Human Trafficking Coalition of the Palm Beaches speak briefly on the Human Trafficking issue here in South Florida followed by a brief Q & A session. Please note this PBS Special is rated M for mature audiences only. Some content may not be suitable for children under 17 years of age. Contact: Tanya Meade firstname.lastname@example.org or (561) 966-4288 ext. 106.
March 2016 Meeting Highlights
Jennifer Rey was introduced
by President Tanya. Jennifer is Program
Director for AVDA. After speaking Jennifer Introduced Rebecca
Keck, a Violence Prevention
Counselor with AVDA. Rebecca
gave an informative presentation on the link between
Domestic Battery and Human
24 hr. Hot line: 800-355-8547
Emergency Shelter; AVDA has
63 beds. For up to six weeks.
Transitional Housing: 2 year
program. Rent based on income. YWCA has a rapid rehousing
Program if shorter than 2
year transitional housing needed.
Outreach Service: Sexual
Assault project; Advocate with the child welfare system; prevention
programs for youth.
Rebecca started with the
Definitions of Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking.
She talked about the
Trafficking of intimate partners, spouses, and family members.
2011 report from NHTRC 10% of
hotline calls reported as intimate Partners or familial trafficking.
Rebecca went over some case
examples of domestic violence being connected to Human
She went over the common
myths connected to Human Trafficking:
Traffickers are always
Abusers are jealous and won’t
exploit for sex
Abusers control economically
but don’t exploit
Her conclusion was they do
use it to exploit.
Techniques used to control
Use of threatening violence
Victims under lock and key
Controlling v’s economically
Telling v’s they will be
imprisoned or deported.
The Power and Control that
perpetrators have over domestic violence victims is similar
to that used against human
70% of female survivors per
London Study reported abuse before being trafficked
Domestic Violence as a Push
Factor to Trafficking
Children in homes with
domestic violence have absences from school; lack of education; lack
of job; increased
Differences between Domestic
Violence and Human Trafficking
Domestic Violence: usually
Trafficking: exploitation of
female poverty usually with no intimate relationship
Levels of endangerment and
legal remedies are different for victims of trafficking.
Advocacy for trafficking
victims differs for advocacy for victims of domestic violence and
Is more challenging.
Safety Planning: The same
strategies for domestic violence victims may not be suitable for
victims of Trafficking but
some strategies may overlap.
Talk to trusted friends
Plan escape route
Avoid dangerous rooms
Other Resources: ncdsv.org:
YWCA and AVDA work closely
together. Must be 18 years of age or up and have domestic/intimate partner
connection to qualify for services at AVDA. The victims may
bring children with them to
February 2016 Meeting Highlights
Amber Ahern from Palm Beach County LINK Coalition provided a presentation on the link between Violence and Animal Cruelty.
Amber is a
therapist with victim services and has a doctorate in Criminal
Justice-Behavioral Science. Amber founded The South Florida Link Coalition
which is a multi-disciplinary collaborative initiative to increase education
and awareness, address public policy, create programs, and lead research on the
Link between animal cruelty and human violence. The Coalition works to
facilitate change by bringing members of the community, government, criminal
justice system, health care system, animal welfare agencies, and human services
together in order to foster healthy relationships between people and animal and
reach goals that will positively impact public health and safety. The goals
include creating databases that will aid providers, to assist with sheltering
human and animal victims of domestic abuse together, to educate the community
and professionals about the Link and the human and animal bond, to strengthen
animal abuse laws, to improve psychological treatment.
the Coalition on the prevalence of animal cruelty also being involved in
domestic abuse cases, and the cycle connecting abuse to animal cruelty. The
cycle starts with domestic battery . If you add animal cruelty the victim is
more likely to stay with the abuser. If the victim stays the children are than
exposed to domestic violence and animal cruelty. The children are than more
likely to grow up to be violent. Children who commit or witness animal cruelty
are at a greater risk of anti-social behavior. There are pets in 67.7% of homes
with children under 6 and 74.6 pets in homes with children over 6.
There is a
need for veterinarians to get involved in the discussion although they are not
mandated to report animal cruelty.
Crisis lines to ask about animal abuse. 50 states have felony level
animal cruelty laws, and dog fighting is now a federal crime. In 26 states DVM’s, ACO’s, and DCF cross report.
She also advocates for therapy dog programs
for at risk youths and more awareness.
January 2016 Meeting Highlights
Bonnie Jo from Hope for Freedom came and presented on Hope House, a shelter for domestic minor sex trafficked girls. She is a CSEC trainer and trainer for the HTCPB. Place of Hope provides direct services to CSEC in Florida. Hope House is a 12-15 month safe house for domestic minor girls. They live in a home setting with on-site school. Girls are, on average, 2 year behind academically. Girls receive counseling services from trained therapists with the goal being long-term restoration. These services include individual counseling/therapy, group sessions, and equine-facilitated activities. They also incorporate life skills training. Girls can be referred from out of county and out of state. They are set up to accept community children meaning no DCF involvement. They have been open for 5 years and have 5 beds currently.
The best contact number for the program is (561) 799-1570.
Hope for Freedom also offers advocacy and education/awareness in the community with a 3 goal approach of prevention, intervention, and restoration. They offer prevention presentations in schools, clubs, student ministries, life groups, etc. Their programming is gender-based meaning they present to either all girls or all boys. They work in small groups on life skills. They also provide life skills and mentoring in the Belle Glade area at the Life Center. HFF partners with other community agencies and churches to provide services, groups, and presentations. The Life Center has been open for 4 years now and hosts an after-school program that provides tutoring, small groups, faith skills, life skills, safe place, and parenting programs for parents of the kids they serve. They also provide an intervention and restoration piece to youth involved in DJJ. They host groups and provide mentoring for those individuals that are at high-risk. They will do presentations by request.
January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month!
See below for the HTCPB's Event!
And Our Poster Contest Official Information:
Human Trafficking Safe Schools Presentation Approved Unanimously at Palm Beach County School District! Debuted at the General Meeting for the Membership for the month of September!
Starts with short film who are you talking to online? Guy posing as
a girl talking with HS girl
POAST Partnered with HTCPB, presented training to PBC School District
– unanimously approved Middle School, High School – 6 to 8 graders, 9 to 12 graders, School staff
& Faculty, Parents of school aged kids.
Content of presentation:
Definitions – trafficking
Kids–how they are vulnerable
Scenarios–have group sessions
Recognizing and reporting
Trainers–have to have fingerprinting and background checks, basic knowledge.
Presentation: Linda Geller‐Schwartz, Tanya Meade, Brandy Macaluso
Human trafficking – how to keep and keep friends safe
Definition–modern form of slavery 2 types:
sex trafficking & labor trafficking
(18 years old & younger = automatically sex trafficking due to
issues of consenting to commercial sex acts)
Identifying a trafficker: slide with 8
photos, several women, older & younger men = all traffickers
How does it happen? Traffickers are looking for insecurities &
other desires or insecurities identified by students
Activity- where traffickers might be looking for potential victims
Traffickers often use “spotters” to look for potential victims.
Spotters hang out where you hang out:
Boys & girls at risk–studies show increasing # of boys being trafficked
Spotters looking for boys, girls, loner, involved in drugs, kids with gender identity issues,
Group activity: what would you do? 6 different scenarios all ending
in trafficking–how could it have been handled differently with a better outcome?
Do you really know who you are talking to at the mall, on FB, etc?
Be careful what you post online. Safe Internet Banking: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7pYHN9iC9I
Trauma bonding–Elizabeth Smart
Recognizing & reporting:
changes in behavior/language
skipping classes or lunch
What will YOU do to prevent trafficking?
HT Tipline 888.373.7888
HT Tipline text 233733
DCF hotline = 800‐96‐ABUSE
Or, in an emergency, call 911.
During August's Meeting, Bonnie Jo Daniels spoke about their Parent's Program for Protecting Your Children Against Traffickers
Bonnie Jo Daniels, Project Director for Hope for Freedom provided a training used to train parents on human trafficking called "Not On My Watch: A Parent's Guide to Keeping Kids Safe."
During the training, she explained Human Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children.
1. Intersections of Abuse
2. Parent Quiz
3. Theory of Human Trafficking
A. What makes my child a target?
B. 5 Level Pyramid Illustrated
4. "Beautiful Slave" video was shown
(described tactics to lure young girls into trafficking)
5. List provided of what children are at risk for recruitment
6. 10 minute Group Activity
Audience divided into 4 groups to answer one question
7. Potential Indicators of Sex Trafficking
8. Action Steps for Parents
9. Parent Resources
To request this type of training for any community or parent groups, please contact Bonnie Jo Daniels at BonnieJoD@CFToday.org.
Mark Pafford spoke to the Human Trafficking members about Political Advocacy & How to Engage their Legislators during July's General Meeting.
Mark Pafford, Florida House
of Representatives, representing 86th District
Haverhill, Loxahatchee Groves, Royal Palm Beach, and
Wellington in east-central PBC
bills pass – tips using his experience
by leadership in Senate & House
really know how the governor thinks until he signs or vetos – and speaks about it
160 people are elected to represent 20 million people –
Senate has 40 Senators
House has 120 Representatives
Anyone can log in and track bill by going to www.myfloridahouse.gov/
website, clink on “Representatives” – find your representative, can use your
He brought up his own page as an example:
– shows things I am associated with
Public Service – tells you what
I am interested in
Recognized for: X, Y, Z
Current Sponsored Bills
is to build coalition – go to legislator with your idea for a bill – to see if
he/she will back it
House allows 6 bills per
Representative each session
Bills go to drafting –
confidential up until then – then back to person to see if it what they wanted
If what they wanted, the bill is
“filed” & gets a bill #
House Bills are
odd numbers, Senate bills are even number
the website, you can see the bills
or special session
they are read on the House floor, it is scripted “theater”
can see our votes and track our activity on the website
you know what we are doing, you are unable to “hold our feet to the fire” so to
it passes House, then goes to Senate – and visa versa for Senate bills
can pass exact same bill or amend it.
it is amended, it comes back to House – can ping pong back & forth
Important to see if a dollar amount is attached…
Pass all kinds of things without
Looks like you are doing
something when you are really not
It is possible to go back later
and fund it
If committee chair refuses to
hear the bill – a problem that has to be overcome
begin before actual session
16 is the first week of committee work this year, meet again in
October & November
is official session – games start, have 60 days or regular session
it doesn’t pass the first time through, it dies either in committee or on the
Bill will be dead for that
sponsor can reintroduce it as a new bill the following session
for office? As voter, any ad that says, “I approve of myself” throw away!
Everything that comes through
that way is poll tested
Opposition is just as bad since they use ads that pull things out of context to fit their agenda.
way to communicate with elected officials?
Find them at events & let
them know you are watching them
Letters – that are not
completely formatted – Unique letters only
Form letters not really
If letter goes to Representative
not representing you, it will be forwarded to your rep
Have to play hardball
Call Mark Pafford's office and speak to either of his legislative aids, Audry or Susan for any assistance or direction. The phone number is 561.682.0156.
Regina Bernadin conducted an interactive experiment on Building a Capacity to Respond to Human Trafficking during the June Meeting
Regina Bernadin, from International Rescue Committee presented on Building
a response – evaluating what services are in the community and possible gaps.
are the questions for the framework:
1. Which population do you
serve? Sex/labor, survivors, minors, adults, domestic only or all?
2. What geographic area do you
3. How do you serve them?
4. The best way to contact?
1. What activities are you
2. What presentations do you
3. The best number to contact?
1. Hepzibah House – Becky Dymond
mental health, trauma & career counseling, group therapy, support groups,
are also starting a jobs program with built in mentoring that should be in
motion by September.
We will pay survivors to work and participate in the
We are bringing volunteers alongside to build a
relationship with them one-on-one.
are in central PBC & serve those who are able to come to us, some limited
are in the process of opening a safe home
to educational scholarships for up to two year programs
2. Heidi Shaeffer - Broward Human Trafficking
Coalition, KidSafe Foundation, Nova Southeastern University
a. Broward Human Trafficking
organization - mission of raising awareness about human trafficking in Broward
direct service component; refers potential cases to the appropriate authorities
or service providers
does a lot of outreach in the community –
bureau does free trainings regarding all levels of trafficking expertise;
- so main strength = collaborations with
NGOs, law enforcement, health care profs., & private citizens. Advocacy
with legislation and policies (eg, schools) to recognize HT as the epidemic it
to people who have the most opp. to call in suspicions, e.g., truckers, school
bus drivers, PACE, etc.
or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Broward-Human-Trafficking-Coalition/109588215736214?fref=ts
b. KidSafe Foundation, a nonprofit committed to
educating about childhood sexual abuse.
is a great tool for preventing sexual trafficking of children.
program has a three-tier approach:
Certified KidSafe instructors teach parents, children, teachers;
also educate professionals or staff that deal with children, including CPIS
is teaching in public and private schools in Miami Dade, Broward, and Palm
available for sale- (English & Spanish)-- guide to empowering children from
preschool through fifth grade.
c. Nova Southeastern
campus in Broward, satellite locations throughout the State, including in Palm
research/educational project called Project HEAT (Health Educators Against
Trafficking) developed a systematic approach to train all their professors in
= all students who graduate NSU to have exposure to the subject of human
"Human Trafficking 101", law-enforcement perspective, to customized
(Coalition for Research and Education Against Trafficking and Exploitation), Miramar
on HT, educate faculty/students, ultimately, provide direct free medical
services to victims.
Collaborative grant with Kristi's House in
Miami provides no-cost nursing care via NSU.
Brianna Kent is the main contact for CREATE (954-262-1296).
3. Tanya Meade, Rescue
services, community awareness is main thurst.
show film Chosen to middle and high
school aged students.
film is produced by Shared Hope International.
Defenders program also buy Shared Hope International that addresses demand.
of Children - prevention training program that teaches adults how to prevent,
recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. Designed for
organizations serving youth, individuals concerned about the safety of children.
2 hours CEUs, through NASW & NBCC
4. Bonnie Jo Daniels, Hope
female minors with sex trafficking history.
care with long-term residential services - five beds, girls only, 12 to 15
an emergency shelter. There is an application process before a girl can be accepted
in the program.
work with case managers and in and out of Palm Beach County.
do training – Human Trafficking 101, CSEC training for staff, agency workers
at Palm Beach State, school presentations, “Be The Difference.”
6. Florencia Dominguez– International Rescue Committee
services to men, women, and children, domestic and foreign. T
Broward, Palm Beach County and Martin.
management and funding to assist with housing, transportation and food.
awareness presentations, and technical assistance, Landlord network
Trafficking, 101 specific to South Florida.
bringing businesses into the loop.
grants, currently have a waiting list
each case and provide what they can.
with DOJ in pilot program, Family Justice model, one place to get all the
services that are needed.
7. Dale Fox, Palm Beach
offer direct services they are first responders and investigators for all
victims in Palm Beach County.
also do training and raise awareness for all crimes in the community.
8. Brandy Macaluso, CILO-
Coalition for Independent living organization.
are a full service center, working with sex and labor trafficking survivors,
domestic an undocumented. Palm Beach County, Martin County Okeechobee County
and St. Lucie County.
direct services to all disabilities - HT survivors qualify.
agency, advocacy and transportation, mental health and peer counseling.
helping with Social Security appeal process, vocational classes and assistance,
with disability related issues, access evaluations for handicapped
presentations, trainings on how to screen for disabilities for mental
emotional, behavioral, visual, hearing, and traumatic brain injuries.
wraparound services following a child aging out from foster care.
services, they are a nonprofit and a civil rights organization.
9. Patricia Vazquez, Department
of Children and Families
from Broward to Indian River.
Beach County - hold monthly staffing member meetings on all new cases.
with both dependent and community kids and they do training for
10. Linda, Partner Organizations Against Sex
and awareness group, associated with National Council of Jewish Women
bring the “14 Silhouettes” with case studies to public awareness events.
burea, Human Trafficking, 101
in education with the safe schools programs and legislative issues.
11. Iliana Dias, AVDA.
temporary shelter, 6 to 8 weeks at a time, 60 beds.
has to be an element of domestic violence or partner violence to qualify.
Beach County and surrounding areas.
legal advocacy, help victims excess victim compensation and relocation funds.
have training in advocacy and presentations.
12. Kathy Iho, Soroptimists
have a local chapter involved with human trafficking
grants for awareness, and other supportive services for women.
13. Liisa Spinello, Victim Services.
with advocacy, therapy for victims of violent crimes. Sex trafficking is one of
charge for services
accompaniment for survivors, physical exams, follow ups, relocation, trauma
in Palm Beach County.
services, nighttime is well goes through 211 or 833 – RAPE.
call will be directed from there
= sexual assault response team= 561.625.2568
on trauma informed care, offer CEU's, and CSEC training.
14. Twiler Smith, FBI
FBI serves all cases.
to take custody of minors so they work with DCF.
territory includes Highlands County, Vero Beach Palm, Beach County.
Washington in Fort Lauderdale goes from Fort Lauderdale to the Keys.
Murphy serves the Tampa division.
are hiring 35 victim specialists
Labor trafficking survivors, very
limited shelters for adults.
has options for men and women labor and sex trafficking but they have to be
part of the investigative process.
2. Gap identified for people needing drug detox
Dr. Heidi Shaffer spoke on KidSafe Program during the April Human Trafficking Meeting
with personal crisis – son left unattended by babysitter
Safe provides training for kids in 4th & 5th grades in PBC & Broward.
about prevention of abuse & raising awareness
in 4 girls have been molested before age 18, 68% by family members, 90%
someone they know. 40,000
kids & 15,000 adults have been trained so far.
need to know how to get help
Break The Cycle, with Uncle Pete…
brings four core injuries:
1. Traumatic sexualization
of commercially sexually exploited women sexually abused as kids & told no
of abuse and exploitation is preventable through education.
KidSafe uses a 3
1. Education for teachers and
2. Education for parents
3. Education for children
kids they had a voice & a right to use it
between reporting vs. tattling
first with trusted adult
between safe & unsafe tough
between good & bad secrets
Support child – telling them not
Report the case
Having a Circle
of safe adults
For more information about KidSafe, please contact Sally at SallyB@KidSafeFoundation.org or by calling 855-844-7233.
Sandy Skelaney addressed the March Human Trafficking Coalition Meeting regarding Human Trafficking and the Media
Sandy Skelaney addressed the HTCPB with her presentation, "Media Goes Wild; The Spectacle that is Human Trafficking" about the implications of exposing human trafficking victims to the media.
After starting Project Gold at Kristi House in 2007, they received a lot of media requests and became, in essence, the gatekeepers to domestic minor sex trafficking victims.
After reviewing the google images pages of search word, human trafficking, we see photos of light-skinned, attractive, female victims; shackled, chained, or caged; with dark-skinned hands or perpetrators or as Sandy refers to them as the "Kids in Cages" imagery. She discussed the subliminal messages this is potentially sending to reviewers of this information. The media shapes reality so there are consequences to the distortion such as being unable to decifer true victims and desensitization that occurs.
On the flip side, we need media to bring attention to the good work organizations are doing and bring awareness to the causes. Over the last decade, Sandy identified many positive changes in the media coverage of Human Trafficking. She has noted their use of victim vs criminal, the term human trafficking is used vs child prostitute, and there has been a decrease of the verbiage, "victimless crime."
Regardless of the detail or perceived impact of the victim, their story matters and is important. There are many pros and cons to exposing the victim to the media:
- Can empower the victim
- Engages the audience in the cause
- General awareness of the issue
- The victim is the voice of their own experience
- Success stories inspire others to come forward to to succeed
- It puts the victim at-risk
- Victims may feel coerced or used
- The story never disappears. Ever.
- No privacy
- May not be emotionally prepared
- Sexual history is made public domain
Sandy stressed the importance of preparing the survivor by asking 4 main questions:
- Is there any part of your past you are ashamed of?
- Is there any part of your present you are ashamed of?
- Is there anything you don't want your family to know?
- How would you feel if you were recognized and approached in public?
Mishaps with media can happen. Sandy stated it is important to learn from these mistakes and prepare for them in the future. She discussed that there are some blunders that will be beyond the control of yourself and your survivor so it is important to pre-brief, debrief, follow up, debrief again, and debrief again.She also talked about the importance of safe words between the service provider and victim so if the service provider needed to cut the interview short, they could. Sandy recommended having pre-drafted talking points that are bulleted and sticking to those. She also recommends if possible, to request a list of questions from reporters so service providers and screen them. She listed some issues that have occurred in past cases in regard to media exposure:
Victim's Initials are Published. This is a problem because people within their circles including service providers can be identified, especially if they have had prior contact with various service systems like DJJ or DCF.
TV Clips of Key Note Spliced/Edited to Make Crying Appear from Pimp. The victim felt like her story was edited to make her a more "perfect victim."
Random, Short Phone Interviews/Reactive Stories. These are not typically fact-checked and are produced full of errors.
Girl-Specific Branding Leaked with Agency Name. The girl was triggered at school and ended up running away for 2 weeks.
Rush Interview Cancelled Last Minute by Guardian. After cancelling, the reporter waited for the victim in a white, unmarked van in a parking lot and tried to push her to come with him to his station to do the story regardless of the guardian's cancellation.
TV Features Silhouetted, "Anonymous" Survivor. Survivor was labeled as a "prostitute" by the editor and 4 people recognized her body shape and voice.
Don't believe everything you read! Sandy presented a completely fictitious story that was printed with extremely graphic detail that was completely made up by the author and did not reflect the true story of the victim. She also presented two additional stories, one of a HT survivor that was saving girls, that turned out to not be a survivor of HT; the other was of a victim stating she was consensual to the trafficking and pornography however, a video surfaced of her being violently raped with information conflicting her claims of agreement to the trafficking.
Lastly, Sandy gave a list of 18 tips when working with the media:
Let a victim initiate the discussion on sharing their story.
Assure the victims emotional and physical stability.
Build insight/process trauma prior to interviews.
Leadership, peer mentoring, and training advised for victims
Control the Story.
Obtain proper consents (with as much detailed specifics as possible).
Conceal Identity (more than just a silhouettes).
Support person present.
Get questions in advance.
Ask to read quotes for accuracy.
Emphasize use of proper language with media.
Conduct due diligence with reporters (Find out the angle).
Pre-Brief, Debrief, and Debrief again.
Titrate exposure. Start small.
Engage survivors as experts, not "victims"
Vet survivors. Why do they want to speak about their story?
Sandy also shared a very well-written expose from the Sarasota Herald called The Stolen Ones by reporter, David McSwain.
Sandy is currently a founder of the Ignition Project. A project designed to assist program directors that are forming new programs or newly formed agencies on developing business plans, strategic plans, and other essentials for success.
February's Meeting featured Guest Speaker Elaine Beckwith of Sanctuary Ranch, Vision Quest Shelter for Girls
There are 30,000 to 40,000 runaways in
Florida alone. 2,200 to 2,300 go missing
every day across US. Target age for traffickers
has been 10 to 12 years old, but starting to recruit girls as young as 8 years old. Vulnerability factors:
homelessness, poor, broken families, physical/sexual abuse history, running
away history, low self-worth/self-esteem, addictions to drugs/alcohol,
involvement in the juvenile justice or
child welfare system. Ages 12 to 14 years old are most
Vision Quest works with underage minors girls only. They took their first girl into shelter in July 2014. 80% of girls run away from
programs. They are used to running! That’s what they do! DJJ starting work with DCF – DJJ's history often means
trafficking history. Most girls that receive services have
DJJ history. Most girls are controlled by pimps – so they lie
about it out of both loyalty and fear.
What is different about
these girls? Their distrust of care providers and law enforcement. They lie out of fear,
feel its their fault, and are ashamed. They don’t think anyone will believe them, they believe they're in love, they can't self-identify, and are controlled by the pimp. Very often these girls have issues with
addictions. Violence is a symptom of
trafficking. Trauma bonding takes a
girl’s ability to walk away.
Brain process during trauma:
- Trauma triggers “doing brain” in amygdala in limbic
system over the “thinking brain” in prefrontal cortex
- Thinking brain defers to
doing brain in dangerous situations
- Kids fight, flee or shut down
– they learned to do these things in dangerous situations
- Doing brain triggers
hormones, either ramp up or calm person down
determines fight/flight/freeze response
- Designed to remember danger
so can make a quick response
- Triggers make us feel
like we are in danger even when we are not
sounds, smells, words, tones of voice, approaches,
touch can all be triggers
- Survivors compliance and
behavior – coping mechanisms
The primary goals of Vision Quest are empowerment
vs recovery, growth, mastery, and efficacy. Generally they work collaboratively with other programs. They are funded through DCF, Child-net. Vision Quest is a private company. They extend into the home for next
step for girls. They are fostered in families where there is only child per family allowable. The staff is all female. They have 4 cottages but
no house parents. Each house has 6 staff – 2
on duty, 12 hour shifts, 3 days on, 4 off. Sanctuary House is faith based but
not evangelistic – horses therapy, yoga, movie nights, education, and the girls are included in all the
projects on the ranch including designing the decor for the houses.
For contact information, please go to http://flvq.org/
JANUARY IS A TIME FOR REFLECTION, NEW RESOLUTIONS, DEVELOPMENT, AND PLANNING.