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Many believe human trafficking to be an international issue, which it is. Many are also becoming aware that it is a deeply local issue, one that requires an informed response from communities like ours. Human trafficking includes labor and sexual exploitation and oppresses both adults and children. Human trafficking does not have to include the movement of a person, although it can. One type of human trafficking is child sex trafficking, which occurs in the United States more pervasively than most people are aware of.
If you are interested in understanding more about the issue of one critical facet of child sex trafficking, focusing on children from the United States and more specifically within Santa Barbara County, please take the time to read the Needs Assessment of Domestic Child Sex Trafficking in Santa Barbara County. This research report, undertaken by Kary O’Brien and Kyli Larson and endorsed by the District Attorney’s office, focuses on the following questions:
What is the prevalence of child survivors of domestic sex trafficking in Santa Barbara County?
What are the protocols responding to child survivors of domestic sex trafficking in Santa Barbara County?
What are the needs of child survivors in Santa Barbara County?
What are the available services, and gaps in services, for child survivors of domestic sex trafficking in Santa Barbara County?
The data contained in the Needs Assessment reveals 45 confirmed survivors of Domestic Child Sex Trafficking, 80 suspected child survivors, and ~461 highly vulnerable to Domestic Child Sex Trafficking in Santa Barbara County, from 2012-2014. The assessment highlights that our county needs significant development in services for child survivors, coordination to ensure consistency of care, as well as collaboration between agencies to better address the needs of survivors and prevalence of exploitation in our community.
If you are able to read the entire assessment, please do so! If not, please review the Executive Summary for a better understanding of this issue in Santa Barbara County. Please feel free to contact Kyli at firstname.lastname@example.org with further questions.