Sylvia’s CAC was one of several Indiana child advocacy centers and dozens of other law enforcement agencies, victim advocacy services, and prosecutor’s offices participating in the first-ever Human Trafficking Seminar hosted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Department of Justice. Interviewers and Advocates Danielle Allen and Amber Harrington attended the seminar.
“Human trafficking impacts kids and adults. We see the victims of human trafficking frequently, often as a result of other terrible acts and crimes against kids,” says Kassie Frazier. Frazier is the Executive Director of Sylvia’s CAC.
Human trafficking is the use or threat of force, fraud, or coercion to compel an individual to engage in commercial sex, marriage, labor, or services.
There are about 200 human trafficking cases in Indiana each year according to the National Human Trafficking Institute. In 2019, 157 Indiana human trafficking cases were reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline – a 19 percent increase from 2018. Of the 157 cases reported in 2019 in Indiana, 40 of those involved minors, according to the report.
“But those numbers are often underreported,” adds Frazier. “It’s hard to spot someone being trafficked. And because kids often have multiple abuses associated, like rape or assault, their cases are categorized as assaults and not “just” trafficking.”
Anyone who has information about a potential human trafficking situation or thinks they or someone they know may be a victim of human trafficking should contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline toll-free at 1-888-373-7888, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Individuals can also text 233733 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A full copy of the Department of Justice’s Press Release is available at their website. A portion is included below:
U.S. Attorney’s Office and Department of Justice Host Two-Day Human Trafficking Seminar for Law Enforcement and Victims’ Services Agencies
United States Attorney Zachary A. Myers is proud to announce the successful completion of the first Human Trafficking Seminar held in the Southern District of Indiana. This two-day, educational event was hosted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Indiana, and the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit (HTPU).
The seminar was organized by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lawrence D. Hilton, the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Human Trafficking Coordinator, and the agenda included presentations from the HTPU’s Deputy Director, Matt Grady, National Program Manager, Sean Tepfer, and Trial Attorney Julie Pfluger. Topics covered included proving coercion, documenting a human trafficking crime scene, anticipating and overcoming common defenses, trauma informed interviewing, trial preparation, evidence collection, and prosecuting human trafficking crimes at a federal level.
“Human trafficking is a horrific crime that inflicts lasting trauma on survivors who are often already vulnerable,” said U.S. Attorney Myers. “These complex crimes require prosecutors to work closely with investigators to get traffickers off the streets, while collaborating with agencies and organizations who provide vital resources to support survivors. Human traffickers, especially those who employ force, fraud, or coercion, and who sell minors for sex, should take notice: these crimes one of our top priorities, and convictions will result in lengthy terms in federal prison with no possibility of parole. Survivors, especially those who are still in the grips of traffickers, should know that there are specially trained police, prosecutors, and service providers who support you, believe in you, and will work tirelessly to get you the help you need.”