It’s National Trafficking Prevention Month, a great opportunity to educate and raise awareness about the problem of human trafficking. Many people only know about trafficking from TV dramas, high-profile celebrity cases, or news coverage of international sting operations. Here at PennCAC, we have something to say about trafficking: it happens to children, too, and it happens every day in all types of communities across Pennsylvania. This month, we’re teaming up with our friends at the PA Office of Victim Advocate to bring the Trafficking Happens Here PA campaign to local communities across the Keystone State.
Children’s Advocacy Centers provide a specialized response to all forms of child abuse—including child sex trafficking and other crimes involving what is called “Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children” or “CSEC” for short.
While CSEC cases are often very complex and can be challenging to identify, our centers have reported working with children and teens who are suspected to be victims of trafficking.
To help CAC teams be prepared to support victims in these cases, we’ve been hard at work building a dedicated CSEC program that offers specialized training and survivor-led resources for professionals. Here are some of the ways we’re helping:
- Team building training to help CAC victim advocates and trauma therapists deliver coordinated, trauma-focused services to child victims of trafficking
- Survivor-led “lunch-and-learn” sessions featuring lived experience experts sharing insight on trafficking topics and victim support
- Access to training in EMDR and TF-CBT for mental health professionals working with trafficking victims
- 5 CAC teams from Pennsylvania attended the CSEC track at the 2022 Crimes Against Children Conference in Dallas, TX