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Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking In Connecticut Center for Children’s Advocacy June 14, 2012 Presented By: The Department of Children and Families Academy.

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Presentation on theme: "Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking In Connecticut Center for Children’s Advocacy June 14, 2012 Presented By: The Department of Children and Families Academy."— Presentation transcript:

1 Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking In Connecticut Center for Children’s Advocacy June 14, 2012 Presented By: The Department of Children and Families Academy for Families, Knowledge and Workforce Development

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3 HUMAN TRAFFICKING DEFINED According to the TVPA (Trafficking Victims Protection Act 2008), Severe forms of trafficking in persons are defined as: – sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age; or – the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.

4 HUMAN TRAFFICKING DEFINED CONT. Any minor under the age of 18 who is involved in a commercial sex act is a victim of human trafficking. The sex trafficking of a minor, an individual who is not yet 18 years of age, does not require proof of force, fraud, or coercion. “Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking” refers to the commercial sexual exploitation of any American citizen or lawful permanent resident under the age of 18. “Commercial sex act” means any sex act for which anything of value is given to or received by any person. This includes: prostitution, stripping/sexual performance, and pornography. 2

5 TPVA VICTIM RIGHTS They are not culpable for crimes committed as a direct result of their victimization. They are not to be detained in facilities inappropriate to their status as crime victims. They should receive necessary medical care and other assistance. They should be provided with protection if their safety is at risk or if there is a danger of additional harm or recapture of the victim by the trafficker.

6 CT DCF HT Child Victim Data Number of victims: 2008 victims victims victims victims victims 7 Trafficking type: DMST/CSE Vulnerability: Majority of victims were on runaway/AWOL status; All victims had experienced sexual abuse and/or neglect Gender: 3 males to date Age range: 13 – 18 Referrals: DCF Social Workers, Law enforcement, EMS, congregate care facilities, CSSD, public defenders’ office, NGOs

7 CT LAWS TO PROTECT VICTIMS 2010 Public Act − “An Act Providing a Safe Harbor for Exploited Children” becomes law. The legislature amends Conn. General Statutes Section 53a-82 to state that a person must be sixteen years of age or older to be guilty of prostitution, and in any prosecution of a person sixteen or seventeen years of age, there shall be a presumption that the actor was coerced into committing such offense by another person Public Act The law provides in part that upon the arrest of any youth by an officer for a violation of section 53a-82, such officer shall report suspected abuse or neglect to the Department of Children and Families in accordance with the provisions of sections 17a-101to 17a-101d. Those reports should be made to the DCF Hotline at (800)

8 DOMESTIC MINOR SEX TRAFFICKING (DMST)includes… Street prostitution (increasingly less common) Stripping Pornography Escort services Private Parties (increasingly more common) Interfamilial pimping Internet based prositution Gang based prostitution Services exclusive to members Human Trafficking vs. drugs and weapon sales

9 IN CONNECTICUT…and beyond. 4

10 HT/DMST IN PERSPECTIVE US – 100, ,000 children are at risk for commercial sexual exploitation each year. Average age of entry into prostitution is % of shelter youth and 70% of street youth are victims of commerical sexual exploitation DCF – 90+ confirmed cases

11 VICTIM PROFILE Youth of any ethnicity, race, or religion Youth of any socio-economic class Youth both male and female Youth of any sexual orientation Youth of all ages, including teenagers Vulnerable youth Youth with histories of abuse Homeless, Runaway Youth Youth within the Foster Care System Youth lacking a Safety Net

12 AT A HIGHER RISK FOR VICTIMIZATION Females Children involved with DCF Children from low income communities Black female children

13 CORRELATED RISK FACTORS of DCF YOUTH AND TRAFFICKING Unstable Home Life Physical Abuse Sexual Abuse Chronic Runaway Exposure to Drugs Chronic Neglect AWOL/Truancy

14 THE TRAFFICKER Can be a pimp, a boyfriend, father, mother, brother, uncle, a coach, a teacher or anyone exerting control over a minor, even a peer Not always organized criminals Both men and women of varying ages Any ethnicity or race Anyone who benefits from the commercial sexual exploitation of a minor or facilitates the commercial sexual exploitation of a minor 6

15 THE TATICS Force =Violence Fraud = Seduction, Grooming Coercion = Threats of Violence – Infiltrating a congregate care setting with a “bottom bitch” – Scouting a schools, train and bus stations, malls, cinemas, ANYWHERE THAT CHILDREN AND YOUTH SPEND TIME – Looking for weaknesses/ vulnerabilities

16 IDENTIFYING CASES OF DMST Due to the covert nature of the crime, sex trafficking can come to your attention indirectly through other violations: – Prostitution – Domestic violence crimes – Drug charges – Runaways/homeless – Cases of assault – Curfew violation – Loitering/trespassing – Cases of sexual abuse/neglect

17 FACTORS IN IDENTIFICATION OF POTENTIAL VICTIMS Lack of knowledge about whereabouts Hotel business cards, escort service business cards, hotel keys, a number of condoms, excess amount of cash Presence of overly controlling or abusive boyfriend Chronic runaway/homeless youth Signs of branding (tattoo/jewelry )

18 FACTORS IN IDENTIFICATION OF POTENTIAL VICTIMS CONT. Inconsistency in stories Inability or fear to make eye contact Injuries/signs of physical abuse/torture Restricted/scripted communication Attitude – defensive, rude, evasive, aggressive Demeanor – fear, anxiety, depression, submissive, tense, nervous Little knives or some kind of weapon

19 Policy INTAKE AND INVESTIGATIVE RESPONSE TO HUMAN TRAFFICKING OF CHILDREN The Department of Children and Families is committed to the identification of, rescue and protection of, and providing services for children who have been identified as victims of human trafficking.

20 DCF RESPONSE If there is reasonable cause to SUSPECT human trafficking of a child call the DCF Careline at Be very clear to inform the screener that you suspect that the child may be a victim of human trafficking/DMST

21 Questions and Concerns

22 Contact Information Tammy Sneed Director of Girls Services


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