June 12 was just the beginning...July 10 we meet again!
On June 12, the Center for Independence gymnasium was opened for a convening of service providers and other community members to focus on regional resources to assist survivors of human trafficking. The special event, hosted by Western Slope Against Trafficking (WSAT) and the Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking (LCHT), provided an opportunity for all present to learn about each other and to consider possibilities for partnership and collaboration.
It was a great sharing of organizations and individuals. Faces were connected to email addresses, new issues came up that we need to take on; new community organizations made themselves very present.
There were great vibes.
The invocation poem by Trish Hopkinson, courtesy of the Getting the Word Out project, was a small miracle, encouraging all to listen to one another more intently. Two American Sign Language interpreters made the event accessible to participants with hearing impairments. The event was much enhanced by the good food provided by a favorite Grand Junction eatery, Las Golosas Mexican restaurant.
Representatives from about 25 area NGOs and agencies attended, including organizations from Montrose and from Craig. A number of individuals interested in this topic were also in attendance.
The event was organized around a paradigm that the anti-human trafficking movement uses called the “4 Ps.” According to this well-known model, there are four focuses in the fight against human trafficking: Prevention, Protection, Prosecution and Partnerships.
A shift in the approach to this struggle is recognition of the need to incorporate the voices and leadership of persons with lived experience of this crime.
We've added a fifth “P” at this meeting: Persons with lived experience.
After brief introductions and announcements, participants were invited to use colored stickers and sticky-notes to identify and comment upon areas within the 4 Ps which they felt need further development in our region (green). They were also invited to identify areas that they feel are not a priority or do not need additional attention (red).
Below is a summary of the attendees' responses on the 4 Ps as well as further information on the 5th P to be discussed at WSAT’s July 10 follow up HYBRID meeting- RSVP here:
KEY: Green= Need to develop Red= We already have this/it’s been accomplished
Training and Education: 1 red, 7 green
Public Awareness: 8 green
Policies: 8 green
Address root causes: 1 red, 6 green
Comment: Movement Beyond Awareness
Social, Medical and Behavioral Services: 6 green
Housing: 1 red, 8 green
Basic Needs: 6 green
Legal Services: 7 green
Interpretation and Translation: 1 red, 6 green (Comment: Culture Competency and inclusion)
Employment Assistance: 5 green (Comment: What is the best way to start over in a new community if you’re being trafficked? Does employment protect you or possibly make you vulnerable? How to do best to protect while moving forward?)
Training and Education of Law Enforcement: 6 green
(Comment 1: In Youth Cases–defining language and crime. As well as DHS for DNN cases. Comment 2: Education about how to treat and refer to trans men and trans women)
State and Municipal HT legislation: 7 green
Prosecution of HT cases: 7 green
Private and Public Sectors, NGOs: 2 red, 2 green
Diversity: 1 red, 3 green
Resource Leveraging: 1 red, 3 green
Trust Building: 1 red, 2 green
Sustainability: 1 red, 2 green
Vulnerable Populations Perspectives, Especially Survivor Voice: 2 red, 4 green
Management of Competing Interests: 1 red, 1 green
Comment: Better cooperation between organizations, No Gatekeeping, Let’s Actually Work Together : )
Persons with Lived Experience
Comment 1: Safety and Compensation for voices
Comment 2: Move People with Lived Experiences to the top of the list 5Ps list - They are why a number of organizations, i.e. LCHT, WSAT, Bravestone, CHTC, exist
Comment 3: Consider offering trainings on trauma and self-care/resilience
Comment 4: Ensure survivor self-determination and dignity
We're looking forward to continuing this conversation and building more relationships for strengthening our communities. We can't solve anything alone, it takes a community. Join us - WSAT’s July 10 follow up HYBRID meeting- RSVP here