Survivor Support

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About

The Problem

After escaping from months or years of victimization, survivors of sex and labor trafficking often need a wide array of services that recognize the unique trauma they have experienced. In order to rebuild their lives, survivors may be in immediate need of housing, counseling, medical care, legal advocacy, job training, interpretation, immigration relief, substance abuse recovery, or food and clothing assistance. Yet, trafficking survivors regularly face significant challenges in accessing these services. In many areas of the United States, specialized trafficking programs may not exist, may be underfunded, or may struggle to meet the high demand for services and assistance. Further, LGBTQ victims face particular institutional barriers or outright discrimination when seeking help.

The Solution

To establish an effective and non-judgmental continuum of care, we need to meet survivors where they are and begin to empower them to make choices that create and support their futures. There is a continued need for sustainable social service programs that can provide long-term services to all survivors of trafficking, regardless of circumstances. Increased federal and state funding is needed to increase specialized services for victims of both sex and labor trafficking. In addition, service providers for domestic violence victims, at-risk youth, immigrant communities, and LGBTQ populations can incorporate care for trafficking survivors into their programs.

Trafficking survivors may interact with many different service systems throughout their recovery—from law enforcement and the court system to multiple social services agencies. These systems must work together to provide coordinated services to trafficking survivors. They must also implement strong protocols to identify potential victims and to provide trauma-informed, empowering services to survivors and their families.

Our Work In Action

For over ten years, Polaris has been helping survivors of human trafficking rebuild their lives. We operate the National Human Trafficking Hotline and BeFree Textline to connect survivors with critical support to get help and stay safe and equip communities with tools to combat human trafficking. Based on this direct experience, Polaris shares strategies and resources with public and private sector entities to strengthen the safety net for survivors across the U.S.

Photo credit: Robert Nickelsburg

Actions

Help healthcare workers identify and protect trafficking victims

There are thousands of human trafficking victims across the United States, and the healthcare sector is one of the fields with the highest exposure

Successes

A survivor rebuilds her life

After "Camille" was trapped in terrible conditions, a family tutor called the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline to help her escape. The hotline connected "Camille" to Polaris's Client Services team, who worked closely with her to rebuild her life. 

Latest News

Blog post

Senate Passes Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act

September 12, 2017

Since 2000, the laws have served the main tool used to combat modern slavery and human trafficking in the U.S. But more must be done for this act to be fully reauthorized.

Blog post

World Day Against Trafficking in Persons

July 28, 2017

Thank you to all the Polaris partners, supporters and donors who make our work possible. 

Blog post

Reauthorizing the Trafficking Victims Protection Act

June 29, 2017

The most consequential federal law on human trafficking is the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), originally passed in 2000 and reauthorized four times since.

Experts/Staff

Vanessa Chauhan

Strategic Relationship & Engagement Advisor

Caroline Diemar

National Hotlines Director

Bradley Myles

Chief Executive Officer

Jenna Novak

Strategic Relationship and Engagement Advisor

Keeli Sorensen

Director of Programs

Courtney Walsh

Manager of Corporate and Strategic Partnerships