Despite the anti-trafficking community’s great strides to create a safety net for survivors, there are still many systematic and inadvertent barriers that block survivors from accessing the critical housing they need.
Many domestic violence (DV) programs have come to understand the profound similarities in the experiences of DV and human trafficking. Both situations are rooted in power and control. Survivors in both are often hurt by someone they see as an intimate partner. Both can face similar cycles of violence. And both often face a need for safe, emergency housing.
Do you remember the last time you saw a story in your local news about illicit activities at a massage parlor? What you might not have realized is that many of the women in the photos are actually human trafficking victims. Instead of being protected like other victims of crime, they are being exposed and publicly shamed.
Human trafficking is a business and the International Labour Organization estimates that it is a $150 billion global industry. A significant amount of this money will go through legitimate financial institutions, like retail bank branches.