Our Mission: The Rochester Regional Coalition Against Human Trafficking (RRCAHT) is dedicated to eliminating human trafficking in our communities through education, advocacy, and networking with individuals and organizations.
Working against human trafficking in the Rochester region.
If you responded to the email sent in late February asking you to become a member of RRCAHT or to renew your membership by paying dues either by check or PayPal, thank you for your financial support!
If you haven’t, we hope that you will do so soon. The annual membership dues are $100 for an organization and $25 for an individual. We are able to adjust these fees if you would like to join but need some assistance.
Your membership contribution will enable us to continue to expand our community awareness efforts. The increasing number of invitations that we receive to speak and to provide training necessitates printing materials and handouts. Dues also support programs such as our recent "Yes, Here" campaign, which displayed large panels on human trafficking on the outsides of two RTS buses.
To join you can fill out the membership form on our website. Our dues year runs from January to December, so if you have supported us in the past, it is time to renew! You can either:
1. Pay with PayPal on our Join/Renew/Sponsor page -- or --
2. Pay by check. Please make your check to Worker Justice Center of New York, and indicate on the check that it is for RRCAHT. Mail your check to RRCAHT, c/o Worker Justice Center of New York, 1187 Culver Road, Rochester, NY 14609. Either way, your donation is tax-deductible.
Please help RRCAHT fulfill its mission of eliminating human trafficking in our communities through education, advocacy, and networking with individuals and organizations.
FEATURE ARTICLE Psychological Impacts Of
Sex Trafficking Are Many and Complex
by Celia McIntosh, DNP, FNP-C,RN
Human trafficking is a horrific crime and a complex problem. There are two types of trafficking, sex trafficking and labor trafficking. The focus of this article will be on the effects of sex trafficking on victims. Victims of human trafficking are subjected to such cruel and harsh physical and psychological abuse while in captivity that it may impact the victim in multiple domains. These domains are emotional, spiritual, social and physical. The psychological health issues for sex trafficking victims are complex and costly. Victims may experience a wide array of mental health disorders, which are manifested through emotional and behavioral symptoms.
Psychological violence leaves trafficking victims vulnerable. Concurrent repeated physical and psychological abuse can cause an individual to feel devalued, emotionally isolated, hopeless, fearful, guilty, self-blaming and easily started. It is not uncommon for victims to develop mental health disorders such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, paranoia, sleep disorders, self-injurious and suicidal behavior, explosive behaviors, and hyper-sexuality as a result of their abusive experiences.
Individuals diagnosed with PTSD often initially present with symptoms of flashbacks/recurrent nightmares, sudden emotional or physical reactions when reminded of the most hurtful or traumatic events, difficulty staying focused in thoughts or attention, hyper-vigilance, trouble sleeping, feeling detached or distant, and an inability to recall key parts of the traumatic events. They frequently have lasting fear, shame, horror, or guilt. (American Psychiatric Association; APA, 2015). These symptoms vary from person to person.
Individuals with depression often present with symptoms of depressed mood or sadness, loss of interest in daily activities once enjoyed, change in appetite, trouble focusing or making decisions, feeling worthless or guilty and having regular thoughts of death or suicide (APA, 2015).
Patients with anxiety may exhibit symptoms of fearfulness, distress, worry, panic in specific areas, and distrust especially of health care professionals as a result of their trauma and abuse (Turner-Moss, Zimmerman, Howard & Oram, 2013; APA, 2015). Many may also avoid activities that remind them of the traumatic event, or may be numb and unable to feel emotions, or become detached or withdrawn from people, feel jumpy, become easily started, have difficulty concentrating, feel irritable, have anger outbursts, and feel hopeless (Turner-Moss, Zimmerman, Howard & Oram, 2013).
Substance and alcohol abuse are common patterns seen in human trafficking victims. The literature suggests that this population is less stable and more isolated, and has chronic pain sustained from multiple episodes of trauma/physical abuse and recurrent rapes from both clients and traffickers (Dovydataitis, 2010). For many of these victims alcohol and substance abuse may be a way to numb the painful traumatic memories.
Approximately 60% were victims of abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault before, during, and after trafficking (Human Trafficking, 2015). The literature suggests that precipitating factors of human trafficking victimization are low social status, coming from impoverished families, and lack of education and professional opportunities. Potential victims are vulnerable to traffickers, secondary to their attempts to escape from current domestic violence, sexual or child abuse situations (Kelley, 2002).
Many times this violence may start in the home in childhood or as a young teen. This violence often causes the trauma victim to attempt to escape this abuse and in turn they may leave their home and in many cases end up living on the street and subsequently exposed to more physical and sexual abuse.
Assessment and identification is the first step in providing both assistance and advocacy for affected human trafficking victims (De Chasenay, 2013). Often when psychological damage is not recognized or addressed, victims are likely to face further victimization. Health care providers are in a unique position to identify victims and connect them with services to ensure that these victims’ needs are met.
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SOAR to Health and Wellness Act Will Help Health Care Providers Identify and Protect Human Trafficking Victims
by Gina Horowitz
Related to the impacts of trafficking on its victims, legislation was introduced into both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives that would help trafficking victims receive improved health care services. The bills are both referred to as the SOAR to Health and Wellness Act. If passed, health care professionals would receive training in three basic areas of care: identifying trafficking victims, providing informed and appropriate victim care, and beginning proper procedures with both law enforcement and additional service providers.
Health Care providers would be trained to Stop, Observe, Ask and Respond to patients that might be victims of trafficking.
Statistics suggest that there is a “high potential” that a trafficking victim will come in contact with a health care professional, particularly in a hospital or emergency room. Since many victims are limited in their contact with the public, when contact with a health care professional does occur, it can offer an important opportunity to help.
"American Crime"TV Series
Economic exploitation is the theme for the third season of the ABC series “American Crime.” Although the legal practice of slavery has ended, people still buy and sell human beings, in ways that are somewhat better disguised. The Polaris Project, a key organization in fighting human trafficking and providing support for victims, took on an advisory role in the writing of this season’s episodes.
Topics for this 8-episode season include the exploitation of farm workers, both undocumented immigrants and American, sex trafficking, the impossibility of class mobility, and the opioid addiction crisis.
Polaris hopes that the series will serve as a tool for increased awareness about the existence of trafficking. The emergency phone number of Polaris, 1-800-373-7888, was displayed at the end of the first episode so that any viewers who might be self identifying with what they saw, could have access to help.
The series continues Sundays at 10 p.m.
About Polaris Polaris is a leader in the global fight to eradicate modern slavery. Named after the North Star that guided slaves to freedom in the U.S., Polaris acts as a catalyst to systemically disrupt the human trafficking networks that rob human beings of their lives and their freedom. By working with government leaders, the world's leading technology corporations, and local partners, Polaris equips communities to identify, report, and prevent human trafficking. Our comprehensive model puts victims at the center of what we do – helping survivors restore their freedom, preventing more victims, and leveraging data and technology to pursue traffickers wherever they operate. Learn more at www.polarisproject.org.
RRCAHT Will Be at Rochester Woman ONLINE FOR THE ULTIMATE LADIES DAY OUT!
APRIL 9TH I 12:00PM-5:00PM I Rochester Women ONLINE will hold a Day of Empowering Women Entrepreneurs Expo at the Holiday Inn Downtown. Over 150 local vendors will showcase their business and offer shopping, sampling, free services, and speakers who are “women entrepreneurs.” A Grand Finale Fashion Show will be sponsored by the Mary Therese Friel Modeling Agency. Chrissy Monroe from VH1’s Love & Hip Hop will also be featured. A $5 donation at the door will entitle attendees to receive a goody bag with product samples, certificates, information and a drink. Every attendee will also receive one door prize ticket for a Grand Prize drawing valued at over $2500.
RRCAHT will have an informational table set up at the Expo with handouts about our work as well as membership information and an opportunity to sign up to receive our quarterly newsletter.