Mission Kids and the Fight Against Human Trafficking
Warning Signs that someone may be the victim of Human Trafficking:
- Visible Signs of physical abuse such as bruises, cuts, or burn marks
- Emotional Signs such as appearing to be depressed, withdrawn, anxious, or distracted
- Unexplained absence from school and/or activities; truancy
- Overly tired or falls asleep in class or during activities
- Inappropriate dress
- Sexualized behavior
- Brags about making or having lots of money
- Displays or flaunts expensive clothing, shoes, accessories, or electronics
- New tattoo (tattoos are often used by traffickers to ‘brand’ their victims)
- Older boyfriend, new friends with a different lifestyle, or gang involvement
- Disjointed family connections, running away, living with friends, or homelessness
If you suspect human trafficking, please contact your local police immediately.
How can I report suspected Human Trafficking?
If you live in Montgomery County and suspect that a child is being abused or has been victimized:
- Call your local police department
- Call PA ChildLine: 1-800-932-0313
- Call the National Human Trafficking Hotline 1 (888) 373-7888
- Call Montgomery County Detectives Bureau: 610-278-3000
- BeFree TextLine: Text “Be Free” to 233733
Call 911 if you suspect someone is in immediate danger
Does Human Trafficking happen here? How common is it?
The U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline worked on 11,500 situations of human trafficking in 2019.
The U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline learned about 8,248 situations of sex trafficking in 2019.
Through phone calls, texts, web chats, web forms, and email, the Trafficking Hotline handled situations involving 22,326 individual survivors, nearly 4,384 traffickers, and 1,912 suspicious businesses.
The Truth about Child Sex Trafficking
What is Mission Kids doing to help stop Human Trafficking?
In January 2019, Mission Kids was awarded the STOP Human Trafficking Grant by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.
Over the past two years, Mission Kids has worked with 20 partner agencies to create a formal, cross systems Sex Trafficking Response Team who have provided specialized insight into sex trafficking. This multi-disciplinary team works collaboratively to identify issues in providing safety and services to victims of sex trafficking, while concurrently seeking to improve the trauma response to victims. A training outline is being developed to address the needs of all Sex Trafficking Response Team members and their unique roles and responsibilities. These structured training programs will ensure that professionals across disciplines will be well-equipped to identify, and respond to, cases of sex trafficking in the community.
As traffickers move their victims across county and state lines, the team is also responsible for creating a Sex Trafficking Response Protocol to standardize a cross-systems response to trafficking which can be replicated in all counties across Pennsylvania. Many trafficking victims have a history of child sexual abuse, have been in foster care, and become victims before the age of 18. This victim-centered protocol will provide a clear, systematic response for all team members to successfully respond to cases of sex trafficking of minors and adults.
A unique member to the team is a survivor of human trafficking. Other members include representatives from:
- Homeland Security Investigations, the Federal Bureau of Investigations
- Montgomery County Detectives Bureau
- Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office
- Montgomery County Office of Children and Youth
- Montgomery County Child Advocacy Project (MCAP)
- Salvation Army
- Laurel House
- Victim Services Center
- Norristown Police Department
- Pottstown Police Department
- Upper Merion Police Department
- Creative Health Services
- Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and Medical Center
- Accion Comunal Latinoamericana de Montgomery County (ACLAMO)
- the Montgomery County Anti-Human Trafficking Coalition
- the Mazzoni Center.
Human Trafficking Training for Social Service Providers in Montgomery County
Mission Kids is partnering with the Victim Services Center of Montgomery County and Salvation Army’s New Day to Stop Trafficking to provide a “Human Trafficking 101” Presentation to help social service providers identify and respond to victims of sex trafficking. This “Human Trafficking 101” training was developed through STOP Grant funding and will provide attendees with an overview of the complex issue of sex trafficking. This workshop has been designed specifically for victim service providers and will be replicated across the state of Pennsylvania. The training is currently in the pilot phase, so we are encouraging all support service agencies to take the training and provide feedback. We ask participants to complete both pre-test and post-test evaluations so that we can gauge participant knowledge and continue to refine the training to best serve our community.
Here are the workshop learning objectives:
- Participants will learn the definition of “human trafficking” and will gain an understanding of the federal and PA state laws in place related to the sex trafficking of minors and adults.
- Participants will examine the vulnerabilities and risk factors that make a person more susceptible to being trafficked. Participants will also learn to identify the red flags and indicators of sex trafficking among minors and adults.
- By understanding the methods of recruitment and conditioning used by traffickers, participants will be able to better comprehend and respond to the complex trauma experienced by survivors.
- Participants will learn to engage with survivors in a culturally competent, person-centered, and trauma-informed manner. Participants will also be provided with resources to utilize when working with survivors to improve comprehensive and cohesive care across disciplines.
To schedule a free Human Trafficking training for your social service agency, please contact Michelle McDyre at: email@example.com.
What else can you do to make a difference? Take Action Today:
- Learn more about Human Trafficking.
- Learn more about Child Abuse – Schedule your FREE Training!
- Share an infographic from the National Human Trafficking Hotline
- What Parents can do to Prevent Trafficking
- Learn the Warning Signs – Help Identify Possible Sex Trafficking
- Take the Quiz – Learn what your ‘Footprint’ is!
- National Human Trafficking Hotline – English
- National Human Trafficking Hotline – Spanish