Human Trafficking Mandatory Reporter Training

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This is the training that Kaffie McCullough presented to CMDA on Thursday, October 22nd.

This is the training that Kaffie McCullough presented to CMDA on Thursday, October 22nd.

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  • Thank you for taking the time to attend this training on the commercial sexual exploitation of children. Because of your work as a [teacher, counselor, etc. -- whichever group you’re speaking to], you are required by law to make a report to DFCS if you have “reasonable cause to believe” child abuse has occurred. Because of a change in the law that occurred through Senate Bill 69 in the 2009 session of the Georgia General Assembly, our state’s definition of child abuse now very clearly includes any commercial sexual exploitation of a child under age 18, instead of just exploitation involving the child’s parents or caretakers. Furthermore, as professionals whose jobs entail regular contact with children, we know that you care about the well-being of the children you interact with. You are uniquely positioned to help children escape from this terrible form of abuse through reporting and prevention efforts. Therefore, it is important that you understand what commercial sexual exploitation is, how to recognize it, how to report it, and what steps you can take to help prevent it altogether.
  • Commercial sexual exploitation of children, or “CSEC,” is the buying and selling of children’s sexuality for adult pleasure. It occurs most commonly as the prostitution of children, but also encompasses child pornography. CSEC occurs anytime anything of value is exchanged for a sexual act by a minor, whether the thing of value is cash, shelter, food, drugs, etc. and whether that thing of value is given to the child or another person. The three most common avenues of exploitation are the street, the internet, and “legitimate” businesses such as escort services and massage parlors.
  • You may hear CSEC discussed as human trafficking. CSEC is a sub-category of the broader issue of human trafficking. CSEC involves minors only and involves only sexual exploitation. Human trafficking is a devastating human rights violation affecting both adults and children used in both sexual activity and labor activity, and it takes place not only internationally, but also here in the United States. It is a modern-day version of slavery. Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world today. The definition is compelling or coercing another person to perform labor or other services. However, you generally do not need to prove force, fraud, or coercion if the victim is under 18.
  • Again, CSEC is a sub-category of human trafficking. Human Trafficking is exploitation for either commercial sex or for labor. It is exploitation using force, fraud or coercion on both adults as well as children. CSEC is exploitation for sex – and involves only children.
  • Just how big a problem is commercial sexual exploitation of children in Georgia? The FBI reported that its Atlanta office was one of 14 field offices in the country that reported the highest incidence of prostitution of children. A 2005 report by Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin’s office found that Atlanta is a prime destination for sex tourism, including the exploitation of children. Recent research by the A Future. Not A Past. campaign has found that on average 250-350 girls are exploited every month in Georgia, and we know that this is a conservative estimate. The count only includes children exploited through the primary avenues of internet, street, major hotels, and escort services – it does not include underground activity. It also does not include boys or transgender youth who are CSEC victims.
  • Children involved in commercial sexual activity are victims not offenders because they are being bought and sold by adults for adult pleasure. The primary methods exploiters use to control CSEC victims are seduction, force, fraud, and coercion: Seduction- initially a CSEC victim is usually encouraged to form a bond that is based more on ‘love’. These victims often come from troubled families, so the pimp will often try to play a ‘love’ role – boyfriend, daddy, etc. They may receive gifts and be treated with affection that they have not previously experienced at home. Force is generally used at some point after seduction has already broken down the victim’s resistance, making the victim easier to control. Force involves rapes, beatings, and confinement. Fraud involves deception. Victims are offered jobs as models, actresses, nannies, maids, etc. Fraud may also involve offers of marriage, love, or just better living conditions. Coercion involves threats, debt-bondage, and psychological manipulation. Exploiters threaten the victim with bodily harm or with harm to the victim’s family or friends. Traffickers also use debt-bondage to coerce the victims. Debts might include expenses for rent, food, toiletries, travel, documents and/or immigration costs. The victims might also be charged fines for failure to meet quotas or for bad behavior. The exploiters make it virtually impossible for the victim to pay off the debt. International victims are also manipulated through isolation and deception concerning their rights in the U.S. Frequently exploiters will employ a combination of these methods in order to control their victims.
  • Children who have been exploited are not the easiest victims to work with. They distrust everyone – particularly people in authority. If they have been with a pimp, the pimp has served to exacerbate that distrust. Stockholm Syndrome is part of the problem – many children have been so psychologically manipulated that they love and identify with their abuser, and this is a hard bond to break. They have also been taught that if they reveal what they’ve been involved in, someone is going to take them and lock them up. Many fear for the safety of their families if the victims are seen by the pimps as cooperative with law enforcement or social services. Because of the harsh realities they have been living with, they have developed aggressive defenses that may make them seem to have a huge chip on their shoulders.
  • Although commercial sexual exploitation can happen to almost any child, some of the most common characteristics that we see in victims are: a history of child abuse, particularly sexual abuse; a history or pattern of running away; problems in school; lack of good social and support networks; and drug use by the child or his or her caretakers.
  • The exploitation of these children is driven by the demand for commercial sex and an oversexualized culture. Most men who solicit underage prostitution are often not pedophiles who went out looking for sex with a child. They are generally men who wanted someone “young” or “fresh” and who (perhaps intentionally) failed to recognize how young the person they are with is.
  • Fulton County Juvenile Court and law enforcement have adopted a practice not to prosecute children for prostitution, because they recognize that exploited children are victims rather than offenders. In other parts of the state, however, children are often still prosecuted on prostitution charges.
  • As previously discussed, CSEC is child abuse under Georgia’s mandatory child abuse reporting statute, regardless of who is exploiting the child. If you reasonably believe that a child is being commercially sexually exploited, you must notify your local DFCS office.
  • These are examples of initial questions to ask a child you suspect may be a CSEC victim. They will help you to gather important information in an indirect way that might not be as threatening to the child. Be careful not to make the child feel like they are being interrogated. A friendly, conversational tone will elicit more information than an inquisition. Even if you are careful, though, you should be aware that a victim may not give truthful answers. CSEC victims have been trained by their exploiters to not reveal their experiences to adults in authority.
  • Now we’re going to move on to specific things mandatory child abuse reporters might see in their interactions with children that might mean that a child is either currently a CSEC victim, or is at high risk of becoming a CSEC victim. We plan to show you the signs for all the different categories of mandatory reporters, but will focus on the signs most relevant to your profession. For school personnel, one of the greatest red flags will be patterns of missed classes. School social workers or counselors should look for the signs on this slide, as well as those on the social work and counselor slides.
  • Clients with histories of physical or sexual abuse, running away, or truancy are at particularly high risk for commercial sexual exploitation. If you see these things with a client, especially if they occur in combination with one of these other factors, you may want to consider asking the child additional questions to uncover possible exploitation. Pimps who use the seduction method of control often use gifts to lure children into prostitution. If a girl has new things and won’t explain where they came from, or says they came from a boyfriend who is older than her, this should be a red flag.
  • A child who spends most of her time with inappropriate adults or who is involved with gang members is at high risk for exploitation. Some of the physical signs that you might observe are signs of physical abuse such as bruises or cigarette burns, or a tattoo that shows a man’s name or nickname – pimps sometimes use tattoos to “brand” their girls. A child’s use of more than one cell phone should also be a red flag.
  • A majority of children who have been commercially sexually exploited show some physical effects. Multiple sexually transmitted infections are common. Substance abuse is also very common in CSEC victims. Medical professionals should also pay attention to who comes with the child to the appointment. A dominant person who is unrelated to the child is a major red flag.
  • If you suspect that the child is being commercially sexually exploited, you will have to make a child abuse report to DFCS. When you call in the report, they will want to collect as much information to allow them to make a determination about next steps. Here are some of the types of information it will be helpful to provide if you can.
  • It is extremely difficult to get children to talk about their exploitation. You can enhance the chances that a child will reveal helpful information if you can speak with the child privately in a safe, private, child-friendly location. Be aware, however, that a child may still not disclose the exploitation. Often this type of abuse requires years of therapy, and it is not your job as a reporter to get all the details. If you believe the child has been exploited in spite of the child’s denial, you must still make a child abuse report.
  • You may identify a child who is at risk, but who you do not believe is currently being exploited. Here are some steps that you can take to help the prevent the child from falling victim to CSEC. Children who are engaged in school are less likely to be victimized. Try to identify any barriers that are preventing the child’s full engagement in school, such as an undiagnosed learning disability or lack of appropriate nutrition, and help to develop a strategy, such as special education services or free lunch programs, to address these barriers. Children also need trusting relationships with adults, particularly with adults with whom they can have frank discussions about sexual questions or concerns. Help the child to identify the people in his or her life or environment that could fulfill this role in a healthy way. Many CSEC victims describe their pimps as the first person who ever loved them. These are children who don’t understand how healthy relationships work. Help the child learn about good relationships by modeling appropriate boundaries and behavior, talking with the child about respect and why it matters, and encouraging children to examine their romantic relationships to ensure that their benefits outweigh their harms.
  • Media images also contribute to children’s vulnerability. Music and videos that glamorize the pimp culture and movies and programs that show highly sexualized young people can lead children to believe these things are normal or desirable. Help children to think critically about what they are seeing, and to understand that media portrayals are often not accurate. Finally, children need to understand the legal consequences of their actions. For example, children often believe that kids can’t go to jail. They need to understand that if they are arrested they can be detained for long periods of time, even if they go to juvenile court. Another common misunderstanding kids have is that if they aren’t having intercourse there isn’t punishable sexual behavior. Children need to understand that other acts such as fondling or oral sex can also carry penalties for their partners or themselves. Further, certain convictions such as those for drug possession or felonies could affect their whole family’s access to public benefits like public housing, and criminal activity at a rented home could violate their lease and lead to eviction.
  • Under SB 69, when Child Protective Services receives a report of commercial sexual exploitation of a child by a person who is not the parent, DFCS will do what they call an “information and referral” where they talk to the family about the problem and help them get linked to services. If a parent or caretaker is involved or has failed to act appropriately to protect the child, a DFCS case will be opened, and the child may be taken into foster care. If there is not enough information for DFCS to substantiate the belief that there is child abuse, they should provide you with a referral to the system of care. You can call the number directly or give it to the child or his or her parent.
  • Georgia has some of the few residential treatment facilities in the U.S. specifically tailored for the needs of girls who have been commercially sexually exploited. The oldest, Angela’s House, is outstanding but the facility only has six beds, and the average stay for the girls is between three and six months. Other residential treatment programs include Wellspring, Living Waters, or a regional assessment center. Additionally Georgia has recently developed the Georgia Care Connection, a system of care to help provide case management and a full range of services to CSEC victims.
  • Here are some phone numbers and web sites you can use if you have questions, would like to learn more or want to become more involved in the fight against commercial sexual exploitation of children. Georgia Care Connection is the state-wide system of care. The Prevent Child Abuse Georgia Helpline can answer any questions you have about child abuse, your reporting obligations, or what happens after a report is made. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is a national tip line. The listed websites are local organizations involved in one way or another in the fight against CSEC – you can contact them for more information about how to get involved.

Transcript

  • 1. What Every Mandatory Child Abuse Reporter Needs to Know COMMERCIAL SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN
  • 2. HOW IT IMPACTS YOU…
    • Due to a recent change in the law, mandatory child abuse reporters must report any child they believe is commercially sexually exploited to the Division of Family and Children Services
      • Failure to report a reasonable belief that a child is being exploited is a misdemeanor
    • As professionals who interact with children, you are in a unique position to help victims to escape from this terrible form of abuse
  • 3. DEFINITION OF CSEC
    • Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC )
        • Sexual abuse accompanied by remuneration in cash or in kind to the child or a third person or persons
        • Types of Victims/Exploitation:
          • “ Street” victims
          • Internet victims
            • Internet is the method or “ virtual street” (i.e. Craig’s List)
            • Child pornography victim
          • “ Legitimate” businesses (i.e. massage parlors, escort services)
  • 4. DEFINITIONS OF TRAFFICKING
    • Human Trafficking -
    • - Compelling or coercing another person to perform labor or other services.
      • Coercion can be overt or subtle; physical or psychological
      • Two types of human trafficking: Sex and Labor
    • Sex Trafficking -
      • Recruiting, harboring, transporting, obtaining or employing a person for commercial sexual activity induced by force, fraud or coercion or performed by person under the age of 18
  • 5. KEY COMPARISON
    • CSEC
      • Sexual exploitation of children
      • Includes both girls and boys, and transgender youth
      • Involves both domestic and international minors
    • Human Trafficking
      • Has both adult and minor victims
      • Deals with both labor and sexual servitude
      • Misconception: Is thought to be only international in scope, but is also domestic
  • 6. SCOPE OF PROBLEM
    • Atlanta is one of the 14 cities with the highest rates of prostitution of children in U.S. (source: FBI)
    • Atlanta is a top sex tourism destination (source: Priebe A., Suhr C. Hidden in Plain View: The Commercial Exploitation of Girls in Atlanta, 2005 )
    • 250-350 girls are exploited in Georgia each month (conservative estimate) (source: A Future. Not a Past.)
  • 7. METHODS USED TO CONTROL CSEC VICTIMS
    • Seduction
    • Force: Rape, beatings, confinement
    • Fraud: False and deceptive offers
    • Coercion: Threats, debt bondage, psychological manipulation
  • 8. MINDSET OF CSEC VICTIMS
      • Refusal to consider themselves victims
      • Fear or distrust of health/social service providers, police, and government officials
      • Loyalties, positive feelings towards pimp as coping mechanism
      • Desire to protect pimp from authorities
      • Fear for safety of family
      • Violated personhood* – (voice, relationship, power) * Langberg, D. (2003). Counseling Survivors of Sexual Abuse. USA: Xulon Press
  • 9. KEY RISK FACTORS
    • Abusive Home (physical, mental, or sexual)
    • Runaways – lured within 48 hours
    • Learning Disabilities / Academic Underachievers
    • Isolated / Socially Challenged Children
    • Drug Abuse in the Home
    • Early Drug Usage
    Gant, B. & Lopez Hudlin, C. (2007). Hands that Heal: International Curriculum to Train Caregiver of Trafficking Survivors (FAAST). Springfield, MO, Life Publishers
  • 10. DEMAND
    • PRIMARY DEMAND:
    • Opportunistic exploiters, pervasiveness of adult sex markets, sex offenders, the “victimless crime” myth (perception of helping the victim), gender inequality, sex tourists or prostitution tourists
    • SECONDARY DEMAND:
    • Traffickers, pimps, brothel owners/madams, corrupt public officials, criminals or various criminal organizations
    • TERTIARY DEMAND:
    • Media promotion of a culture of prostitution, cultural flattery of men’s sexual promiscuity, religious attitudes and values, rape stigma, lack of laws, and new technology.
    Gant, B. & Lopez Hudlin, C. (2007). Hands that Heal: International Curriculum to Train Caregiver of Trafficking Survivors (FAAST). Springfield, MO, Life Publishers
  • 11. CURRENT LAW ENFORCEMENT PRACTICES IN GEORGIA
    • Fulton County Juvenile Court and law enforcement have adopted a practice not to prosecute children for prostitution
      • Exploited children are viewed as victims rather than offenders
      • Despite this policy children are still sometimes arrested and detained on prostitution charges, and the charge is later knocked down to a lesser charge
    • Children are still sometimes prosecuted for prostitution in other Georgia counties
  • 12. CHILD ABUSE REPORTING STATUTE
    • Professionals who are required to report child abuse do so based on the statute’s definition of child abuse
    • O.C.G.A. § 19-7-5’s definition of child abuse includes two different sub-parts that encompass CSEC victims:
      • The sex acts involved in prostitution usually fit into the definition of “sexual abuse”
      • “ Sexual exploitation” now, as a result of a recent change in the law, includes sexual exploitation that is perpetrated by either parent/caretaker or someone unrelated to the victim (i.e. a pimp)
  • 13. IDENTIFYING CSEC VICTIMS
    • Key Questions for Identifying CSEC Victims
      • How did you get here?
      • Where do you live, eat and sleep?
      • Do you owe someone money?
      • Were you threatened if you tried to leave?
      • Has your family been threatened?
      • Were you ever physically abused?
      • Were you ever forced to stay in one place?
      • Who are you afraid of?
  • 14. SIGNS TO LOOK FOR: SCHOOL PERSONNEL
    • Isolation
    • Frequent absences
    • Inappropriate clothing/dressing over-age
    • Little to no eye contact
    • Avoiding girls and spending a majority of time with boys
    • Not eating
    • Crying/outbursts of anger without a cause
    • Secretive about her things or writing notes to herself
    • Art work that is disturbing
    • Unexplained bruises or other injuries
  • 15. SIGNS TO LOOK FOR: COUNSELORS / THERAPISTS
    • History of one or more of the following:
      • Physical or sexual abuse
      • Running away
      • Truancy
    • Unexplained – or inadequately explained – absences from home
    • Existence of an adult male “boyfriend”
    • Presence of “gifts” whose origin is unknown
    • Ongoing – or increasing – incidents at school
      • Falling grades
      • School suspensions
  • 16. SIGNS TO LOOK FOR: SOCIAL WORKERS
    • History of one or more of the following:
      • DFCS involvement in the family, particularly if stemmed from allegation of sexual or physical abuse
      • Running away
      • Truancy
    • Older friends and/or “boyfriend”
    • Gang signs / affiliation
    • More than one cell phone
    • Physical signs such as:
      • Unexplained bruises
      • Cigarette burns
      • Tattoos of someone’s name or nickname
  • 17. SIGNS TO LOOK FOR: MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS
    • A young patient who:
    • Is accompanied by an adult other than his or her parent (often male) who seems controlling, insists on speaking for the patient
    • Has visible signs of physical abuse
    • Has a tattoo of a man’s name or nickname
    • Shows signs of psychological abuse; acts unusually fearful or submissive
    • Appears underage and engaged in prostitution
    • Has multiple sexually transmitted infections
    • Reports multiple pregnancies, abortions or miscarriages
    • Uses illegal drugs
  • 18. HELPFUL INFORMATION TO GATHER
    • The more information that can be provided to DFCS, the more likely the child will get help. If possible, try to provide:
      • Name and location of the victim
      • Name and location of the victim’s parents
      • Basis for your belief that the child is exploited
      • Name, physical description, and/or location of suspected exploiter
      • Whether alleged perpetrator is in the area/armed
      • Location where exploitation occurred
  • 19. ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS
    • Safe
      • If victim feels safe she is more likely to disclose
    • Private
      • Victim may fear the pimp more than the state
    • Child-friendly location
    • No distractions
    • Minor’s physical/mental state
      • i.e. sleepy, hungry, on drugs, etc
  • 20. PREVENTING EXPLOITATION
    • Engage the child in learning and school
      • Identify barriers to learning such as learning disabilities and distractions, and develop a plan to address these
      • Engage the child in extracurricular activities and after-school programs
    • Develop relationships with trustworthy adults
      • Help identify / create availability of trustworthy adults
      • Find a safe person with whom the child can discuss sexual issues and other problems
    • Teach about good relationships
      • Model respect for appropriate boundaries
      • Talk with the child about respect and why it matters
      • Encourage the child to examine the pros and cons of his or her relationships
    • Minor’s physical/mental state
      • i.e. sleepy, hungry, on drugs, etc
  • 21. PREVENTING EXPLOITATION (Cont’d)
    • Help children become more media literate
      • Encourage children to question images they see in the media
      • Talk with children about things that are normalized on tv and in movies and music and about why those things might not be the same in real life
    • Build children’s understanding of legal consequences
      • Children need to know that even though they are young, their actions can carry serious penalties for them
      • Criminal activity and/or arrests could impact public housing for the whole family
      • Sex with older “boyfriend” could get him arrested on a range of charges with long sentences
      • Acts other than intercourse (e.g. oral sex) can sometimes carry even greater penalties than “normal” sex
    • Minor’s physical/mental state
      • i.e. sleepy, hungry, on drugs, etc
  • 22. REPORTING PROCESS
    • When DFCS receives a report of CSEC by a person who is not the parent, the family will get a referral to a service provider, and law enforcement will be notified
    • If a parent or caretaker is involved or has failed to protect the child from the exploitation, a DFCS case will be opened
    • If there is not enough information for DFCS to take either of these steps, they may provide referral information to you
  • 23. SERVICES CURRENTLY OFFERED
    • Georgia has some of the only residential treatment
    • facilities in the U.S. specifically tailored for the
    • needs of girls who have been commercially
    • sexually exploited. These include:
    • Angela’s House
    • Wellspring Living Inc.
    • Regional Assessment Center
    • Living Waters
    • Center to End Adolescent Sexual Exploitation (CEASE)
  • 24. Q&A / RESOURCES
    • Georgia Care Connection: 404-602-0068
    • Prevent Child Abuse Georgia Helpline: 1-800-CHILDREN
    • National Center for Missing and Exploited Children: 1-800-THE-LOST
    • www.afuturenotapast.org
    • www.WeUrgeYou.com
    • www.wellspringliving.org
    • www.notforsalecampaign.org