What We Do Education Heightening awareness of child sex trafficking—a danger that many people know little about—is essential to reducing the threat it poses to children everywhere. Therefore, we take steps to educate the public about child sex trafficking, the factors that put youth at particular risk, red flags that a child may be being sexually exploited and the trauma commonly sustained by those who are trafficked. Our educational efforts include the following:Promoting awareness of child sex trafficking, including its risk factors, through digital and social media.Developing educational resources for use with schools, law enforcement, social service agencies and churches, as well as children and their families.Establishing partnerships with area schools, not simply for educational purposes, but to help youth serve as advocates for themselves and their peers.As members of the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force and Baltimore City Human Trafficking Collaborative, providing testimony and letters of support to state and city legislatures about the steps lawmakers can take to reduce the threat of child sex trafficking. Prevention While no child is immune from the threat of child sex trafficking, some youth are particularly vulnerable based on factors ranging from social isolation to their exposure to the child welfare system. These and other factors are why we develop and implement local prevention strategies that include the following:Consulting with schools to develop tailored prevention strategies.Educating parents, grandparents and other caregivers about the vulnerabilities to children, while providing them with the resources they need to strengthen their familial bonds.Mentoring the children of those who were trafficked, which is a common risk factor for child sex trafficking, while helping them to break the cycle of exploitation by shedding the shame and isolation that children of survivors frequently inherit.Educating communities about the public threat and human costs of child sex trafficking in a culture that allows for the exploitation of children. This helps to reduce demand among buyers and potential buyers for commercial sex, pornography (specifically Child Sexual Abuse Material) and online enticement. Survivor Services Sex trafficking is inherently traumatic. However, many survivors of child sex trafficking have experienced trauma over the course of their lives—emotional, physical and sexual abuse, for example, or parental alcohol and substance use—that put them at particular risk of trafficking. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration defines individual trauma as resulting from “an event, series of events or set of circumstances that is experienced by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or life threatening and that has lasting adverse effects on the individual’s functioning and mental, physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being.” Therefore, Araminta adopts a trauma-informed approach when providing clinical and support services to survivors of child sex trafficking so they can lead peaceful, productive and self-determined lives. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration established six guiding principles of trauma-informed care: Safety Provide a welcoming environment. Be sensitive to potential triggers that might remind a patient/client of past trauma. Don’t pressure a patient/client to answer questions if they hesitate. Be kind. Potential victims of trafficking may be belligerent or hostile. Their life experiences and past traumatizations make it difficult to trust care providers or people in authority. Trustworthiness and Transparency Maintain appropriate professional boundaries. Clarify your role. Obtain informed consent. Be consistent. It takes time to build trust. Peer Support Provide translated materials and qualified interpreters for patients/clients as needed. Respect cultural identity and practices. Recognize and address historical trauma. Collaboration and Mutuality Engage peers with empathy, respect, and support. Provide meaningful opportunities for peers to facilitate, organize, and coordinate activities. Hire survivors with appropriate skills to mentor other survivors or provide peer-to-peer programming. Empowerment, Voice, and Choice Allow patients/ clients and staff to share their experiences and ask questions as needed. Be transparent in explaining options and your role. Respect the decisions patients/clients make, even if you disagree. Cultural, Historical, and Gender Considerations Maximize opportunities for collaboration and sharing of power between staff and with survivors. Recognize that everyone has a role to play in trauma-informed care. One does not have to be a therapist to be therapeutic.