June is Pride month in the United States, a time to celebrate how far we’ve come in advancing the rights of LGBTQ+ people, but also a time to reinvigorate our efforts to continue the fight for equality.
At Polaris, that means drawing even more attention to how people who identify as LGBTQ+ can be especially vulnerable to human trafficking. From talking about the violence faced by LGBTQ+ people to delving into why so many cases of trafficking in this community go unreported, we want to draw attention to experiences that are specific to LGBTQ+ communities and highlight ways we can come together to make things better.
The National Referral Directory run by Polaris is made up of anti-trafficking organizations and programs that offer emergency, transitional, or long-term services to victims and survivors of human trafficking. As of June 2019, the directory has:
- 205 total organizations that currently specialize in serving LGBTQ+ populations
- 575 total organizations that currently offer direct services and serve transgender survivors of trafficking
- 361 total organizations that currently offer some form of shelter or housing options to those who identify as transgender survivors of trafficking
We have also created resources that are aimed at helping LGBTQ+ trafficking victims and survivors. These include resources for LGBTQ+ youth who may be experiencing trafficking or know someone who is, for service providers and criminal justice professionals so they can learn more about how to promote healing, and for LGBTQ+ community members and advocates so they can become even stronger allies in the fight against human trafficking.
We encourage you to read these posts and resources and share them with your networks. The more people learn about human trafficking of LGBTQ+ people, the better equipped we’ll all be to fight it.
*If looking for an anti-trafficking program that specializes in serving LGBTQ+ populations, you can use our online public Referral Directory and add a “Specialized Competency” to your search. Users can also quickly identify organizations that specialize in serving LGBTQ+ populations by locating the Pride flag marker.