Thursday, February 25, 2016

Safe Harbor Navigators - an important resource

Does this sound like a child you know?

·       Chronic running away

·       Chronically truant

·       Lots of cash or valuable items, with no explanation where it/they came from

·       Marked emotional changes; fear, anxiety, depression, submissiveness, evasiveness.

·       Prepaid phone, or gift of a phone from someone who has no business giving them a phone.

·       Owning a fake ID

·       Possession of hotel key cards

·       Another person who seems controlling, domineering, stalking or ever-present. May be a boyfriend, but is not necessarily a male person. May or may not be older/adult; but is certainly in control of the child.

·       Sexually explicit or suggestive profiles or posts on social media

·       Frequent, unexplained bruises or injuries.

These are just a few of the things that we have heard in trainings that might indicate that a child is being groomed for trafficking, or being trafficked. This is by no means a complete list, but when we see these things (or other things that just don’t seem right), we refer the family to the Safe Harbor Navigator in their area.

Experts in the area of child trafficking, these Regional Navigators are a valuable resource for our children, families and communities. They connect and coordinate services for sexually exploited youth.

Navigators can also often find services for people with organizations that have special connection to cultural and linguistic communities around the state.

If you believe that your child is being trafficked, or is being groomed for trafficking, you can consult a regional navigator for help. These organizations can help families with assessment and to connect to services that will help.