Video by Dr. Dawn Elise Snipes on integrative behavioral health approaches to improving mental health and reducing mental illness.
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Increasing Awareness of Human Trafficking
30 July is United Nations World Day against Trafficking in Persons
Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes
~ Human trafficking is when people are recruited or harbored, by threat or force, to be exploited for commercial sex or labor.
~ More than 300,000 young people in the US are considered “at risk” of sexual exploitation.
~ COVID-19 has amplified trafficking dangers. Loss of jobs, growing poverty, school closures and a rise in online interactions are increasing vulnerabilities
~ 30-88% of survivors interact with healthcare providers while they are being trafficked.
~ Juvenile survivors may present with their traffickers or associates (who may be family members) when a health or mental health need impacts their ability to work or earn
~ In the US in 2015, ~ 40% of sex trafficking victims were Native American.
~ Migrant farm workers can become trafficking victims because their legal status in the US is often tied to employment
~ In 2018, under President Trump, the US Department of Justice funded 45 victim service providers with $31 million
~ Non-US citizen Survivors often qualify for a T-Visa if they have come to the US because of trafficking, and are cooperative with reasonable requests from legal authorities OR
• Are under 18.
• Have suffered psychological or physical trauma, and are unable to cooperate with law enforcement because of that trauma.
~ Claims of just visiting and inability to clarify where he/she is staying/address
~ Lack of knowledge of whereabouts
~ Loss of sense of time
~ Has numerous inconsistencies in his/her story
~ Has few or no personal possessions
~ Is not in control of his/her own money, no financial records, or bank account
~ Is not in control of his/her own identification documents (ID or passport)
~ Is not allowed or able to speak for themselves
~ Is fearful, anxious, depressed, submissive, tense, or nervous/paranoid
~ Exhibits unusually fearful or anxious behavior after bringing up LEO
~ Avoids eye contact
~ Poor physical health / signs of abuse
~ During exit counseling, survivors have the ability to leave at any time.
~ Focus on building rapport rather than persuading the subject that the perpetrator is a negative influence
~ Identify problems that may have existed before the trafficking involvement and which may persist.
~ Deal with psychological issues in the survivor and the family (if appropriate).
~ Address issues family members have as a result of the trafficking experience if appropriate
~ Ensure a comprehensive recovery-oriented system of care
~ Must be collaborative and seek to empower the survivor
~ Use the stages of change model—Building the relationship over multiple meetings
~ Pay attention to too much eye contact and giving the person sufficient physical space
~ Identify ways to make the treatment environment and home feel safer
~ Develop mutually agreeable goals
~ Avoid techniques that could trigger abuse memories
~ Emphasize the relationship between symptoms and the traumatic experience
~ Psychological Issues
~ Basic Needs: Food, clothing
~ Child Needs: Childcare, school enrollment, and transportation
~ Community Needs: English-language courses, life skills and general education,
~ Employment Needs: Job placement, job skills training, vocational counseling
~ Family Reunion Needs
~ Health Needs: Dental care, medical care, mental health services
~ Legal & Law Needs: Assistance with defending or pursuing criminal charges, visa applications, driver’s license
~ Public Benefits Needs: Housing, social security, and disability, Medicaid/Medicare
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