Human trafficking is the second largest and fastest growing criminal industry in the world. It is a public safety, health, and human rights issue occurring in our communities, yet sexual exploitation of youth in our area is commonly overlooked, misidentified, and undocumented.
Hope Harbor recently hosted a comprehensive training on sexual exploitation and trafficking of youth in SWMN, presented by Juli Fast, Regional Navigator for Southwest MN. This training provided working knowledge and practical skills for community members to utilize, bringing to light the issues of sexual exploitation and trafficking of minors in our area.
Hope Harbor continues to work to highlight the truth about the sexual exploitation of youth that is happening in our area. Most people don't want to admit this happening in their own backyard. Until people are aware, this issue will grow. Sexual exploitation is one issue many of our residents work to heal from, and countless more teens are involved in exploitation without receiving the help they need to overcome the abuse-teens that you know and love and see everyday. Parents and caregivers are often blind to what is happening to our teens. Once the truth comes out, most are unequipped and unsure how to deal with what comes next.
Below are some resources we recommend to help heal from the trauma of sexual exploitation, including the startling legal definitions of exploitation that surprise most people. Take the time to be educated on the truth about SEY. Most importantly, if you or anyone you know is involved in sexual exploitation, contact your local law enforcement or any of the resources below for help, including Hope Harbor. Always remember: You matter. You are loved. You deserve more.