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Needs Assessment for Service Providers and Trafficking Victims

NCJ Number
Date Published
74 pages
This document reports the findings from the National Needs Assessment of Service Providers and Trafficking Victims.
The needs assessment was designed to answer the questions of what services exist for trafficking victims; how responsive these services are to victims; what barriers there are to providing services; and what assistance/support service providers need to serve trafficking victims. Trafficking in persons is defined as all acts involved in the transport, harboring, or sale of persons within national or across international borders through coercion, force, kidnapping, deception, or fraud, for purposes of forced labor or services. The findings were based on survey responses of 98 United States-based service providers and information gathered from an additional 20 providers and 6 victims of trafficking through focus group interviews. The agencies included legal, health, immigrant, faith-based, and trafficking services. On average, respondents reported working in their current positions for 6 years. The majority of respondents reported having worked with 20 or more trafficking victims while serving in their current position. Eighty-nine percent of the respondents worked with female trafficking victims. The categories for types of victims served were sex trafficking victims (80 percent) and labor trafficking victims (68 percent). Service providers reported that trafficking victims that they worked with came from many different countries. The trafficking victims were in need of numerous services, which included housing, medical, advocacy, legal, transportation, outreach, and food. Trafficking victims’ problems are most similar to the problems of domestic violence victims, immigrants/refugees, and sexually exploited persons. But respondents reported some noticeable differences. Rather than running from one perpetrator, trafficking victims may be running from a whole network of organized crime. Trafficking victims are in much more danger in the United States, compared to refugees. Most respondents reported working with their trafficking victims for more than 12 months. They found that they were able to meet some of their trafficking victims’ needs and not others. Barriers to providing service to trafficking victims are lack of trust in the system, fear of deportation, and fear of retaliation. 18 figures, 2 appendices

Date Published: January 1, 2003