As much as we’d like to believe that sex trafficking does not exist in Monterey County, the grim reality is that although it is a hidden problem–it is a really big one. Monterey County sits on one of two hotspot locations for Human Trafficking. Every day we may drive by a trafficker or walk by a victim of trafficking and not even know it! This pervasive issue affects our community and can encroach into our own lives or the lives of our loved ones. Knowing this reality, we pride ourselves in not only helping survivors but also by outreaching to students by teaching the “Word on the Street” curriculum. This curriculum focuses on the issue of sex trafficking and how to be aware of the signs and misconceptions of sex trafficking.
YWCA-MC Serves Survivors of Sex Trafficking in Monterey
Ever since we began serving survivors of sex trafficking in Monterey County in 2017, we have immersed ourselves in providing the county’s most robust wrap-around services for survivors. When we receive a call from a survivor, we carefully listen to their needs during the intake process. When the needs of the clients are initially assessed, any emergency needs; such as emergency shelter services are also accounted for and are provided.
The intake process takes place the moment a client calls our Human Trafficking Department number. Our Human Trafficking Coordinator is well-connected with partnering agencies in Monterey County that specialize in a plethora of different fields, she actively works with partner agencies to ensure the clients receive the care and recreation services they need; such as, job placement, yoga classes, and religious/spiritual care. We know that the intersectionality of the healing and empowering process of helping survivors overcome their traumatic experience is best served when they are not only listened to but when they engage in a variety of activities to assist in the healing process.
YWCA-MC Client Demographics
56% Were victims of sex trafficking
22% Survived sex and labor trafficking
YWCA-MC’s Sex Trafficking Program Highlights
Conduct initial intake and assessment
Refer clients to internal and/or external agencies
Provide emergency services such as food, shelter and hygiene products
Ongoing case management
Provide financial assistance, when needed
March 26th 2021 we are holding a Human Trafficking Symposium, a human trafficking awareness event. This event will feature keynote speakers who are experts and survivors working toward solutions to end trafficking in Monterey.