Human Trafficking

Human trafficking, domestic violence and sexual assault are interwoven in complex ways.  While we often think of trafficked persons as being particularly susceptible to sexual assault and exploitation, domestic violence can also be a factor in the violence these survivors face. Understanding the intersections of human trafficking, domestic and sexual violence, and homelessness is a critical part of providing accessible, trauma-informed services.  Survivors of human trafficking face complex barriers to safety, particularly those who are most marginalized and have the least access to resources, including survivors of color. Resources in this section address human trafficking, the ways it intersects with domestic and sexual violence, and explores ways that housing programs can help trafficking survivors to access safety.

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Responding to the Needs of Immigrant Survivors of Domestic Violence

2018
Patty Branco
Sheetal Rana
National Resource Center on Domestic Violence

This special collection explores the complex experiences of immigrant survivors of domestic violence and includes resources to support their path to safety and justice. Resources are also included to help service providers respond effectively and appropriately. The collection highlights the importance of using a strengths-based approach, recognizing the courage, strength, resilience, and perseverance of immigrants who have sought to establish a new life for themselves and their children in the United States.

Bridge to Justice: Human Trafficking and Domestic Violence Fact Sheet

2018
Human Trafficking Legal Center

Advocates have long pointed to links between domestic violence and human trafficking. The federal government also has acknowledged the link between these two crimes, recognizing that cases that initially appear to be domestic violence may mask sex or labor trafficking. Understanding the connections between human trafficking and domestic violence is key to identifying appropriate criminal, civil, and immigration remedies. This Fact Sheet provides examples in each context, highlighting cases in which courts and administrative bodies recognized the nexus between human trafficking and domestic violence

A Scan of the Field: Learning About Survivors of Human Trafficking

2018
National Latin@ Network for Healthy Families and Communities
Josie V. Serrata
Martha Hernandez-Martinez
Rebecca Rodriguez
Olga Trujillo

This report was created to increase understanding about how human trafficking survivors receive services from domestic and sexual violence organizations. Researchers collected information for this study through a web-based survey and case studies with five selected organizations. This report documents the study’s findings in an effort to increase understanding about how human trafficking survivors receive services from domestic and sexual violence organizations and offers lessons learned for organizations that are looking to expand into this area of service.

Latina Immigrant Women and Children’s Well-Being and Access to Services After Detention

2018
Casa de Esperanza
Laurie Cook Heffron
Josie V. Serrata
Gabriela Hurtado

This brief describes findings of a research study that seeks to understand the experiences of Latina women and their children when seeking asylum due to gender based violence and to document the experiences of those who have been detained while seeking asylum for gender based violence, the consequences of detention on survivors of violence, and post-detention service needs. By understanding the process of detention and how Latinas experience detention and possible re-traumatization and re-victimization, as well as the unique needs and services required to assist survivors throughout detention and upon release from detention, well-informed policy recommendations and practice priorities can be developed to promote trauma-informed approaches at every point.

Adult Human Trafficking Screening Toolkit and Guide

2018
Wendy Macias-Konstantopoulos
Julie Owens
National Human Trafficking and Technical Assistance Center

The Adult Human Trafficking Screening Tool (AHTST) is designed for use across various health care, behavioral health, social services, and public health settings in order to assess adult patients or clients for human trafficking victimization or risk for potential trafficking victimization. It is a survivor-centered, trauma-informed, and culturally appropriate intervention tool.

Ensuring Access to Shelter and Services for Immigrant Survivors

2017
Rosie Hildago
Casa de Esperanza

Immigrant victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and trafficking often face additional challenges and barriers when seeking assistance and safety. It is imperative that domestic violence and sexual assault organizations not only ensure access to their services to all survivors, regardless of immigration status, but that they also proactively reach out to immigrant communities to let them know that the services are available to them and that they are welcomed.

Annual Trafficking in Persons Report

2018
U.S. Department of State

The annual Trafficking in Persons report is a comprehensive resource of governmental anti-trafficking efforts. It represents an updated, global look at the nature and scope of trafficking in persons and the broad range of government actions to confront and eliminate it. The U.S. Government uses the TIP Report to engage foreign governments in dialogues to advance anti-trafficking reforms and to combat trafficking and to target resources on prevention, protection and prosecution programs.

Considerations and Recommendations on Trauma-Informed Advocacy for Trafficking Survivors

2017
Chic Dabby
Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence

This TA Brief addresses the complexity of advocacy for adult and minor survivors of trafficking. Topics include: Definitions, Analysis/Root Causes, Trauma-Informed Advocacy, Endangerment & Confidentiality, and Considerations & Recommendations at Points of Contact — raids, arrest, custody and release, legal processes, shelters, and health and mental health systems.

Neither Security nor Justice: Sexual and Gender-based Violence and Gang Violence in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala

2017
Kids in Need of Defense

Along with staggering homicide rates, El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala all have extremely high rates of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), including rape and sexual assault, domestic violence, human trafficking, sexual exploitation, and sexual abuse of children. They also report high rates of femicide.

This report examines the relationship between gang violence and SGBV in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. It describes common forms of SGBV in the gang context and the ways in which gangs use SGBV to exert and maintain control over populations and territories in the areas where they operate. It also explains the factors that prevent reporting and prosecution of SGBV, both when the perpetrator is a gang member and when the victim lives in a gang-dominated area. The report briefly outlines government efforts to address violence and impunity. It provides recommendations on how the governments of El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala can work to reduce gang-related SGBV and increase assistance and justice for survivors, which in turn will provide affected individuals and families with alternatives to forced migration. The report also makes recommendations to the U.S. government on how to direct and prioritize aid to Central American countries to effectively bolster efforts to prevent and address SGBV.

VAWA Confidentiality Protections for Immigrant Crime Victims

2017
National Immigrant Women's Advocacy Project
Leslye E. Orloff

VAWA confidentiality was designed to enhance protection for immigrant crime victims in several significant ways. This page provides information and resources related to VAWA confidentiality and courthouse protections for immigrant victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking and other U Visa criminal activities.

Government Policies: Emergency Shelter Transitional Housing for Immigrant Victims

2017
National Immigrant Women's Advocacy Project

This document lists the polices issued by federal government agencies describing the legal rights of immigrant and Limited English Proficient (LEP) victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, stalking, human trafficking, child abuse, and the homeless to access emergency shelters and transitional housing from a wide array of programs. 

Immigrant Crime Victim Access to Federally Assisted Housing

2017
Gideon Anders
Karlo Ng
Leslye E. Orloff
National Housing Law Project
National Immigrant Women's Advocacy Project

This webinar presentation and accompanying materials offer information on government funded programs providing emergency shelter, transitional housing, public and assisted housing to immigrant victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, stalking and dating violence. Information is included about what programs are open to all immigrants without regard to immigration status and which are limited to certain categories of immigrant victims including access to public and assisted housing for VAWA self-petitioners and Human Trafficking victims with HHS certifications.

Resource links include:

How to Advocate for Public and Assisted Housing for Your Battered Immigrant or Trafficking Survivor Client

2017
Benish Anver
Alexandra Brown
Leslye E. Orloff
National Immigrant Women's Advocacy Project

This fact sheet highlights the legal right of immigrant victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, stalking and human trafficking, and run away, abused and abandoned children to access shelter and transitional housing. Included is a discussion of anti-discrimination laws and advocacy strategies that advocates and attorneys can use to successfully advocate to have immigrant victim clients accepted in shelters and transitional housing programs.

Resource links include:

Evidence Checklists for Work with Immigrant Survivors

2017
National Immigrant Women's Advocacy Project

NIWAP has developed a number of checklists that assist attorneys and advocates working with immigrant survivors to prepare for a variety of legal cases on behalf of immigrant survivors. Some of the checklists are geared toward preparing to accompany a victim who will be applying for state or federal public benefits that the victim or the victim’s child are eligible to receive. 

Resource links include: