Trafficking_Presenta tion_2010__3_

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The commercial sexual exploitation of American Indian girls and women : 

The commercial sexual exploitation of American Indian girls and women Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center

Overview of Project : 

Overview of Project How it started Resources Limitations

Federal and State Law : 

Federal and State Law TVPA & Wilberforce Reauthorization Act defines sex trafficking as “the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act in which the commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act is under 18 years of age”.

Minnesota Law : 

Minnesota Law Defines sex trafficking as a form of promotion of prostitution, and acknowledges that no one can consent to be exploited. This removes the “force, fraud or coercion” language. May, 2009 Minnesota passed statute to strengthen prosecution of sex trafficking in the state.

Historical context : 

Historical context Colonial attitudes Boarding Schools Other assimilation policies – relocation, adoption, involuntary sterilization.

Native women’s experience : 

Native women’s experience Four Fundamental Beliefs: The world is a good and rewarding place, The world is predictable, meaningful and fair, I am a worthy person, People are trustworthy.

Methods and definitions : 

Methods and definitions Regional Roundtables MIWRC intake data Published material U.S. and Canada Other data – vulnerability factors Commercial Sexual Exploitation Prostitution Sex Trade Sex Trafficking Victim

Damage of Prostitution : 

Damage of Prostitution Women in prostitution experience rape and sexual violence at a rate of 70 – 90 %. Vast majority of prostituted women experience extreme physical and sexual violence at the hands of pimps/boyfriends. Extremely high rates of chemical addictions, PTSDs, dis-associative disorders, other mental illness. Homicide rate for prostituted women 40 times higher than general population.

Honoring Resilience : 

Honoring Resilience Statistics and outcomes of this report are preliminary. American Indian communities continue to find healing through positive connection with language, culture, traditions. Sexual violence is not our tradition. We must seek our own solutions while holding government, funders and policy makers accountable.

Roundtable Comments : 

Roundtable Comments Prevalence – the advocates in Duluth report highly visible prostitution, heightened recruitment during hunting season, tourist season. This is an old story – multi-generational. Increase in violence and gang involvement. Addiction to meth, crack, and other street drugs. Age of entry is getting younger all the time.

Client screeningat intake (n=95) : 

Client screeningat intake (n=95)

Prevalence : 

Prevalence Everybody I've come across has been young [at the time they entered prostitution]. Like, 12, 13, 14 sometimes 15. I met one woman who was maybe 19, she was really the exception. There's definitely that 12-15 range. They seem like babies! I work in the housing program portion of a women’s shelter. I see the women and we accept the women escaping from prostitution. I did my data collection for a report and I couldn’t believe how many people that we had…it was pretty close to 30 women, escaped from prostitution in a few short months.

Clients in the sextrade (n=33) : 

Clients in the sextrade (n=33)

Patterns of entry : 

Patterns of entry Stripping and Pornography – legal for adults but often used as a gateway into prostitution. Normalization – extremely high rates of overall sexual victimization, peer influence, multi-generational trauma. Internet/Sexting. The emotional connection with pimps/boyfriends. Guerilla pimping and finesse pimping.

Clients in the sextrade (n=38) : 

Clients in the sextrade (n=38)

Vulnerability/Risk factors : 

Vulnerability/Risk factors Violence in the home – runaway, throw away. Homelessness, staying in high risk relationships for lack of suitable housing. Substance abuse – parent/caregivers and early use of alcohol/drugs for girls FASD Poverty Dropping out of school Involvement with child protection system

Normalization : 

Normalization “I grew up with a bunch of women who did trade sex for money, clothing, food, shelter, housing, did whatever they had to do to keep me in a private education and a good home. I want to be able to move on from that so we’re not raising more kids who normalize that activity as part of everyday life”. “The majority of them have been exposed to sexual abuse. So, its like, they’re making the decision now, they are in control of their bodies and they are going to do what they need to do to get what they want”.

Abuse at home : 

Abuse at home Girls that reported physical abuse at home, statewide (2007 Minnesota Student Survey)

Homeless Nativewomen & girls : 

Homeless Nativewomen & girls

Homeless Nativewomen & girls : 

Homeless Nativewomen & girls

MIWRC clients(n=95) : 

MIWRC clients(n=95)

Alcohol use : 

Alcohol use Girls reporting that a family member’s alcohol use caused problems (2007 MN Student Survey)

Alcohol use : 

Alcohol use Girls reporting alcohol use at age 12 or younger (2007 Minnesota Student Survey)

Failure to completehigh school : 

Failure to completehigh school Percent of Hennepin County girls that dropped out of school, by racial category (2006 data)

Barriers to exit : 

Barriers to exit Inadequate support to ensure safety. Distrust of the system – law enforcement. Distrust of the system – advocates. Absence of real options for self sufficiency. Funder restrictions. Fear, shame, the “don’t talk” rule.

Recommendations : 

Recommendations Re-frame the issue, stop criminalizing the victims. Increase access to culturally appropriate housing and holistic care for victims. Build community support through honest dialogue. Hold perpetrators accountable. Systems change to increase penalties for perpetrators and bring resources into victims. Raise awareness across domains.

Next Steps as identified by community : 

Next Steps as identified by community Keep emphasis on healing and empowerment, strategic planning must be led by committed and knowledgeable group of Native people. Prioritize the healing within our communities, ensure no re-victimization as a result of information in this report. This is not solely a woman’s issue – include men, boys, two spirit people in solutions.

How you can help : 

How you can help Think about the language you use around this issue. Hold the media accountable. Let your elected officials know this is something you care about. Understand the socio-economic dynamics that increase risk factors and how state and local policies influence them. Know where you spend your money and whether or not it is supporting exploitation. Donate time and resources to help.

What Next? : 

What Next? Since the release of the report fall 2009 – Indian Crime Reform Act Amendment by Senator Franken, S2925 and H5575, AFNAP model in Atlanta, Kellogg Foundation grant to MIWRC, Safe Harbor Legislative efforts.

Slide 30: 

For additional information or a copy of the full report, please contact: Suzanne Koepplinger, Executive Director Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center 2300 15th Avenue South Minneapolis MN 55404 (612) 728-2008 skoepplinger@miwrc.org www.miwrc.org

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