Episode 28: Human Trafficking: Helping Victims and Cracking Down on Demand (pt.2) 

Description: A discussion on the issue of human trafficking – where it happens, how it happens, who are the victims – and what is being done to prosecute traffickers, help victims, educate the community and prevent future victims.  Guests are Sacramento County Deputy District Attorney Danielle Abildgaard, Investigator Annette Fucles, Victim Advocate Beatrice (Bea) Lavrov and Sacramento Police Detective Jason Collins.

Show Notes: Danielle explains the difference between human trafficking, pimping and pandering – how human trafficking is defined.  Bea and Annette explain how that is different from smuggling.

Jason clarifies that human trafficking isn’t the way it’s portrayed in movies – victims are usually kept local vs. being kidnapped and transported far away.  Human trafficking does not need to involve a form of travel, transportation, or movement across state or national borders.

They talk about some red flags and indicators that signify a possible human trafficking situation.  They discuss where human trafficking occurs, how victims are targeted and recruited and who the victims are – some common traits.  They explain why victims of trafficking don’t run away to escape or ask for help.  Most victims of human trafficking do not self-identify as a victim of a crime and do not ask for help immediately.  There is a special collaborative court designed to provide wrap-around services and programs to help victims get out of the life.  There is also a similar collaborative court for children victims of sex trafficking, specialized to help with trauma and other unique needs.

The conversation also addresses labor trafficking and the difference in how those victims are targeted and kept in trafficking situations.

The group shares what is being done to prevent human trafficking and help victims through the Sacramento Together Anti-Human Trafficking coalition.  Efforts include cracking down on the demand side while reaching out to victims and offering them services.  The coalition also helps build stronger cases and make connections to other cases in other jurisdictions.  The coalition also works to raise awareness among the public.

The group then talks about the unique needs of the human trafficking victims and the important role of the victim advocate working closely with Annette and law enforcement.  Bea talks about the challenges and rewards working with human trafficking victims, and how it is important to provide the victim with continuity and build trust with them.

If someone believes they are witnessing a trafficking situation, call 911.  If someone wants to report a non-emergency possible human trafficking situation or suspected victim/trafficker – call the human trafficking hotline at 888.373.7888.

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Tags – District Attorney, Justice Journal Podcast, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking, Labor Trafficking, Pimping, Pandering, Victim Advocate, CASH, Community Against Sexual Harm