2017 ESC Conference Program Descriptions

ESC’s 2017 Anti-Human Trafficking Conference: Presentation Descriptions


“Latinos in Our Community” by Julia Figuroa-Gardner, Coordinator, Alliance for Immigrant Women

The Latino community has unique needs, experiences and vulnerabilities related to human trafficking. The Latino community is one of the fastest growing minority groups in the United States, but this community also overrepresented as victims of crime. Many in the Latino community are hesitant to report crimes they have experienced due to the fear that law enforcement would ask about their immigration status. After experiencing a crime, survivors are often in need of medical, financial, and mental health assistance to recover, but many in the Latino community are unaware or unable to access these resources. These factors and many others, including language barriers, poverty, and lack of knowledge of their rights under the law, create vulnerabilities to human trafficking and exploitation. By understanding how the Latinos experience these vulnerabilities through the lens of their culture, services providers and law enforcement can better serve and respond to Latino victims of crime, including victims of human trafficking. This presentation will offer strategies to better understanding the experiences of Latinos in our community as well as strategies for helping Latinos overcome barriers to accessing service.

“Victim Mindset: Why Does She Stay?” by MaryAnn O’Malloy, Clinical Director, First Step Home

When interacting with and providing assistance to potential trafficking victims, it is important to understand their mindset so professionals and community members can better help trafficked individuals connected to the appropriate services. Victims face many barriers to leaving a trafficking situation, and these barriers include physical and mental abuse, threats of harm, lack of resources, and fear or distrust of authority figures. In addition to these barriers, many victims may feel shame, self-blame, have feelings of loyalty to their trafficker, and may not self-identify as victims. This presentation will offer participants insights into the experiences of victims and offer strategies for how to address and overcome these barriers to help victims access services.

“Transforming Lives: Working With NGOs” by Ratee Apana, Associate Professor Educator & UC Forward Fellow, University of Cincinnati

This presentation will focus on how to bridge the work of NGOs in India and the United States that work with trafficked individuals. Human trafficking is a $150 billion global criminal industry that is estimated to affect over 20.9 million people around the world. When people think of human trafficking, they may focus their attention to how this issue affects developing countries around the world without understanding how it affects their own communities. Apana will discuss how to study the interplay of the environment and globalization in the context of human trafficking. Apana has lead study abroad courses at the University of Cincinnati to offer students an opportunity to learn firsthand from social entrepreneurs in Ohio and India who are engaged in the rescue and rehabilitation of trafficked victims. Apana will share best practices not only about how NGOs she has worked with in India and Ohio work with survivors but also about how to engage students and youth on the issue of human trafficking.


Option 1: Lunch

Option 2: Special Optional Lunch Session – Coming Home from the Streets: Stories from the Trafficked & Community Policing

The documentary Coming Home from the Streets tells the compelling story of women struggling to leave the world of prostitution and trafficking and the people working to help them reclaim their lives. Trapped by childhood demons, drug addiction and traffickers, the women recount their path to the streets. By exploring this dark world where bodies are sold, the film is a useful tool for organizations to sensitize audiences unaware of what is happening in their community, to garner support for agencies working in this field, and to highlight the importance of the latest developments in community policing.
In addition to screening the film and hearing from the film maker, Noel Julnes-Dehner, participants will also hear from the community liaison officers from the film, Officers Angela Vance and Lisa Johnson. Participants will learn about LGBTQ issues and the highly effective method of law enforcement (and “change court”) that focuses on building ties with people stuck in prostitution and trafficking, and that works with communities.


“Working with Asian American Communities” by Kathy Chen, Executive Director
Asian American Community Services

This presentation will offer best practices for providing culturally and linguistically appropriate services to Asian American victims and survivors of human trafficking. Asian American communities may face many vulnerabilities to human trafficking, including language barriers, poverty, lack of knowledge of their rights and resources in the community, as well as migration, displacement, and conflict from their home countries. These vulnerabilities and others play a role in how Asian Americans and Asian immigrants are recruited into human trafficking in massage parlors, restaurants, factories, and other low-wage, unregulated industries that rely heavily on undocumented labor. Additionally, Asian Americans victims may face significant obstacles to accessing services, including immigration assistance, mental health services, and medical care. There are gaps in understanding how culture affects the mental health, treatment and service needs of Asian Americans, and by learning about Asian American cultural norms and nuances, services providers, law enforcement, and other professionals can more effectively connect with and provide services to Asian Americans who have experienced trafficking and exploitation.

“Victimology of Human Trafficking” by Amy S. Allen, Forensic Interview Specialist, ICE Homeland Security Investigations

Let’s face it–the victim that doesn’t not want to be rescued can be a very frustrating part of our job. Law enforcement represents saving lives and rescuing victims and it doesn’t always work this easily. This workshop will focus on the dynamics and hurdles faced when investigating a case with what appears to be a compliant victim that maybe isn’t so happy to see us on an enforcement action or involved in their lives. Specific case examples from human trafficking cases and effective resolution considerations will be given to participants along with some victimology explanations of why this victim makes us work harder for a successful outcome.

  • Learning Objective #1: The participant will understand some of the psychological coping strategies utilized by human trafficking victims
  • Learning Objective #2: the participant will hear actual accounts of cases where explanations were given as to why HT victims were compliant
  • Learning Objective #3: the participant will be given actual resolution tools to use when working with an HT victim

“Building a Village: Ending Human Trafficking” by Debra Seltzer, Program Administrator, Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Prevention Program, Ohio Department of Health

Outreach to youth and the community usually involves general awareness raising, identification and assistance for those at-risk for or experiencing human trafficking, and prevention information. This workshop will focus on how we can apply the lessons learned in other violence prevention efforts to the primary prevention of human trafficking. Topics addressed will include the public health approach and application of addressing risk and protective factors, social norms change, skill building for prevention, and policy approaches for a systems response to primary prevention.

After completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Explain the public health model and its application to prevention of human trafficking
  • Identify lessons learned from other violence prevention models
  • Incorporate new prevention strategies into awareness and education programming


“Providing Culturally Competent Services to LGBTQ Youth” by Melissa Meyer, Safe and Supported Director, Lighthouse Youth Services

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) youth have unique needs, experiences and vulnerabilities related to human trafficking. LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness are far more vulnerable to human trafficking than other youth experiencing homelessness. In fact, they’re 3-7x more likely to engage in survival sex to gain access to shelter, food or meet other basic needs. LGBTQ youth are often difficult to engage in prevention and intervention efforts because they are often unaware such programs exist or believe they will be mistreated because of their gender identity or sexual orientation. One step in responding to the needs of LGBTQ youth is to ensure that professionals develop the necessary cultural and linguistic competencies required to create safe and affirming spaces. This workshop will focus on basic terminology related to LGBTQ identities and strategies for creating inclusive spaces and culturally responsive care.

Professionals will be able to:

  • Understand basic terminology related to LGBTQ identities.
  • Practice essential linguistic competencies related to LGBTQ identities.
  • Identify strategies for creating inclusive spaces and culturally responsive care for LGBTQ youth.

“Human Trafficking, a Worldwide Problem in our Backyard ” by Representatives of U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations

This presentation will describe the differences of Human Trafficking vs Human Smuggling, methods and indicators of human trafficking, along with the importance a collaborative effort between NGO’s and law enforcement. The presentation will stress the importance of building trust, providing assistance, and approaching investigations as being victim centered. A case study will be presented on a recent case which happened in Detroit, MI.

“How You Can Get Involved: Local Efforts and Advocacy” – Panel discussion with Isaac Wright, Lisa Ramstetter, and Alan Dicken

Isaac Wright is the Assistant Director of Sheakley Center for Youth, Lighthouse Youth Services. Wright will share information about the vulnerabilities to abuse and exploitation homeless and runaway youth experience. Lisa Ramstetter is the Human Trafficking Advocate in Covington from Catholic Charities of Louisville. Ramstetter will share information about her education and outreach efforts targeted to reaching foreign national victims in Northern Kentucky. Alan Dicken is the Senior Pastor at Carthage Christian Church. Dicken will share information about how communities can come together to address the issue of human trafficking. Each panelist will share about how they were drawn to work on issues of human trafficking, exploitation and abuse and how community members can get involved locally and in their day to day lives.


Keynote Address – “Human Trafficking: A Frog in a Well” by Harold D’Souza

Harold D’Souza is a survivor of labor trafficking and debt bondage. D’Souza pursued the American Dream and came to the U.S. on the advice and support of the man who would become his trafficker, encouraging him and reassuring him the American Dream was well within reach. For 133 months D’Souza and his family were exploited at the hands of a trafficker, struggling to be free and to keep his family safe. Today, D’Souza is a Survivor, Advocate and Public Speaker. In this keynote address, D’Souza will share about his experiences to help participants gain a better understanding of barriers individuals face to leaving a trafficking situation. D’Souza will also discuss the work he is currently doing on the United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking and as Co-Founder of Eyes Open International. D’Souza will share strategies he found to be effective in reaching trafficked individuals and how service providers, law enforcement and other professionals can all play a role in addressing human trafficking and supporting survivors.


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