This episode covers the importance of the aftercare process. This is something Guardian Group does not provide directly, however, we have helped communities start a CSEC (Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children) Response Team to ensure their aftercare response is victim-centered, trauma-informed and their resources are leveraged efficiently.
CSEC – a multi-disciplinary team made up often of law enforcement, victim advocates, nonprofit resources and district attorneys. If you are interested in what this may look like check out our local team. We helped set this team up and would be happy to consult with you best practices to establish a response team in your area, just email us here.
In an ideal situation a licensed and accredited victim advocate is called as soon as a victim is realized or before a sting is performed. The first 72 hours after recovery the focus should be on providing food, a safe place to sleep and clothes. If the victim is a minor CPS (Child Protective Services) should also be called.
In an aftercare situation an advocate works for the victim and will only provide the resources and support that the victim requests. This can be difficult for most to understand, however, we must remember the complex trauma the victim has experienced and understand that on average it will take 7 attempts for her to leave the trafficking situation. Victim Advocates are there to meet the victim where they are at and remain a resource even is she goes back to her trafficker. They are often the only person that has never lied to the victim and at some point in time may be the only person she trusts when she decides she is ready to leave.
One of the key aspects of aftercare is making sure you have the correct advocate present. Finding an advocate that is licensed and accredited as well as trained in trafficking is always ideal and will provide the best outcome for the victim. Unfortunately there are often well intentioned people that provide this type of service, however, without proper training they can do more damage than good. Contact us if you need assistance vetting an advocate resource in your area.