Survivors of human trafficking should be at the center of any response to human trafficking. All victims deserve to feel safe and supported. Quality care, compassionate responses, and essential services are needed to help survivors recover from their victimization. Creating conditions of trust and respect will help victims reclaim their lives and help them move toward self-sufficiency and independence.
Trafficking victims typically need numerous types of emergency and long-term services. These include but are not limited to intensive case management, victim advocacy, housing, food, medical and dental care, mental health treatment, substance abuse treatment, support groups, interpretation/translation services, immigration and other legal assistance, literacy education, and employment and training services.
No one agency can respond to all aspects of the crime of human trafficking and the individualized needs of every victim. A coordinated, community-wide and multi-disciplinary response is needed.
Everyone has a role! Victims of human trafficking are regularly identified and served by individuals working in child welfare systems, runaway and homeless youth programs, immigrant and refugee service programs, sexual assault programs, and domestic violence shelters. You do not need to be a specialized human trafficking service provider in order to provide good services for victims of human trafficking. However, it is critically important that when you do engage with victims, you should know what resources are available within your community and provide services that are trauma-informed, victim-centered, and tailored to the specific needs of trafficking victims.
In an effort to support collaboration among partners in the response to human trafficking, OVC has compiled the following resources for victim service providers.
Connect with resources in your state or local community by—
Depending on their eligibility, trafficking victims may have access to—
Through the OVC Training and Technical Center (OVC TTAC) Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) initiative, OVC helps to build the capacity of the field and improve the response to human trafficking victims. The initiative has three priorities.
Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for information on how to get the training you need to combat human trafficking in your community. For more information on how OVC TTAC can support your efforts, visit the following pages of the OVC TTAC website.
Victim Assistance Training Online
Victim Assistance Training Online is a Web-based victim assistance training program offering victim service providers and allied professionals the opportunity to acquire the essential skills and knowledge to more effectively assist victims of crime.
National Calendar of Crime Victim Assistance-Related Events
Locate additional training opportunities by conducting a search of the OVC National Calendar of Crime Victim Assistance-Related Events. The OVC Calendar was created to help victims, victim service providers, allied professionals, and other interested individuals plan, promote, and locate events of interest to the victim services community.
The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) (Pub. L. 106-386) (as amended) authorizes federal funding dedicated to trafficking victim services. The funds are administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). These funds support nonprofit organizations that provide comprehensive services for survivors of human trafficking, including food, housing, medical and mental health care, job skills training, education, legal services, case management, and more.
The HHS Office for Refugee Resettlement (ORR) administers funds for foreign national victims and the HHS Administration on Children, Youth, and Families administers funds for U.S. citizens and legal permanent records. The DOJ funds are administered by OVC and are available to both foreign national and U.S. citizen victims.
In 2003, OVC began funding the OVC Services for Victims of Human Trafficking Program. The primary goal of this program is to enhance the quality and quantity of services available to assist victims of human trafficking, as defined by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000, as amended. To meet this goal, the program encourages interagency collaboration, a coordinated community response to victims of human trafficking, and the provision of high-quality services that address the individual needs of trafficking victims. This program provides funding to victim service organizations with a demonstrated history of providing services for victims of human trafficking. Funding under this program currently supports the following two program areas.
While most of the funding under both of these program areas is dedicated to the provision of direct services, a portion of the funding is used to support efforts to increase the capacity of communities to respond to human trafficking victims by developing interagency partnerships, conducting training, and by promoting public awareness activities.
Since 2004, OVC and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) have partnered to support the creation of multidisciplinary Anti-Human Trafficking Task Forces. In 2010, OVC and BJA began funding Enhanced Collaborative Model Task Force sites, which take a comprehensive approach to combating all forms of trafficking. This program supports two partners from each task force location.
The BJA award supports law enforcement agencies’ efforts to coordinate the goals, objectives, and activities of the entire Task Force in close collaboration with the local U.S. Attorney’s Office and the victim service provider partner. The OVC award supports a victim service provider to coordinate the provision of a comprehensive array of culturally and linguistically appropriate services to all trafficking victims identified within the geographic area impacted by the Task Force.
There are other sources of funding for services for crime victims, including victims of human trafficking.