Human trafficking affects people of all ages, both male and female, from every race, American citizens and foreigners alike. Victims of human trafficking are torn from their families, forced to work for little to no pay in horrible conditions or perform sexual acts against their will. Abused and taken advantage of, they lose their dignity at the expense of someone else’s greed and selfishness. Thankfully, organizations across the country are working together to provide trafficking victims with the tools they need to get out and get a fresh start. Here are some resources victims of human trafficking might find helpful.
Safe Houses and Trauma Therapy
“In Oklahoma, an exact number of victims isn’t known, yet the Oklahoma Coalition Against Human Trafficking (OCAT) estimated during 2011-2019 that 559 individuals in three Oklahoma shelters were victims of trafficking.” (Source: Oklahoma.gov) To combat human trafficking in her state, Suzanne Williams and a team of others organized the Rise Above Project (RAP) project, a program that gives trafficked Oklahoma individuals ages 12 and up physical and psychological safety through supportive transitional housing and short-term housing assistance.
Programs like the Rise Above Project exist in countless other states as well. The goal of these programs is to not only address trafficking victims’ immediate need for a safe place to live but also give ongoing mental and emotional support in lieu of the trauma and abuse these victims have experienced.
The Department of Homeland Security understands that some trafficking victims are tricked into working for businesses in the United States without the proper citizenship paperwork. The DHS offers these victims several special immigration options including Continued Presence, a temporary immigration designation, and T nonimmigrant status, which is a temporary immigration benefit (commonly referred to as the T visa). According to the DHS, “Both immigration options strengthen the ability of law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute human trafficking by encouraging victims to engage and cooperate with law enforcement regardless of their immigration status.”
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will also issue Certification Letters, to foreign national adults, and Eligibility Letters, to foreign national minors, in the United States. The purpose of these letters is to allow trafficked immigrants to apply for refugee services and benefits. More resources on federal resources such as employment assistance and human trafficking tip lines can be found on their website.
What CRG Is Doing for Victims of Human Trafficking
Founded in June 2019 by a US Navy SEAL and his wife, Covenant Rescue Group is on a mission to rescue victims of human trafficking and arrest the criminals responsible for their slavery. We aim to bring hope and freedom to the millions of victims of human trafficking around the world – to release the captives, bind up the brokenhearted, and bring justice to their captors.
CRG funds real-life operations that lead to real rescues, arrests, and prosecution. We provide law enforcement agencies with important tactical training and specialized equipment so that they can be better equipped to fight human trafficking in their city. We also spread awareness about modern slavery and work alongside other anti-trafficking organizations to help trafficking victims get out of the horrible situations they are in. So far, Covenant Rescue Group has worked in 142 U.S. cities and 3 continents, making 40 arrests and rescuing 100 victims from modern slavery.