May is Sexual Assault Prevention Month. Ontario recognizes this month is a time to raise awareness about the devastating impact of sexual assault and focus on the measures being taken to stop violence and support survivors Since the province-wide lockdown due to COVID-19, there have reports of increased incidents of sexual violence across the province against young children and both women and men. Survivors of sexual…
What is Human Trafficking
There are survivors from varied backgrounds, cultures, and socio-economic statuses, and so the overwhelming risk factor identified is ‘simply being a girl’. While we know that there are also male-identified persons who experience trafficking and sexual exploitation, these cases are vastly under-reported and there is no current Canadian data on these survivors.
Human Trafficking Resources:
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Halton Collaborative Against Human Trafficking (HCAHT)
What is the HCAHT?
The Halton Collaborative Against Human Trafficking (HCAHT) exists to create and support a unified Halton community and regional response to combat human trafficking. SAVIS is the lead agency and acts as a backbone organization to the HCAHT.
The HCAHT works as a hub of community efforts to:
- Advance the rights of survivors of human trafficking
- Coordinate the delivery of services to people who have been and/or in situations of human trafficking
- Collectively break down and address systemic barriers survivors face when accessing services
- Prevent further instances of human trafficking by raising awareness of the issues, and
- Build service providers’ capacity to support survivors of human trafficking through a harm reduction, trauma-informed approach, and an anti-racist/anti-oppressive framework
- We recognize that each survivor of Human Trafficking has unique needs
- We work within an anti-racist/anti-oppressive framework
- We are committed to a Human Rights Approach
- the right to live free from violence
- the right to live free from drug addiction
- the right to live free from racism
- the right to live free from sexism and ageism
- the right to live free from substance abuse
- the right to migrate in safety
- the right to earn a decent wage
- the right to have labour protection
- the rights of our endangered global ecosystem
- the rights of people suffering from humanitarian and ecological disasters
- We believe in collaboration
- We stress diversity, welcome differences of opinion and commit to dialogue
- We are evidence-based
Client Centered Support Model
The Client Centered Support Model is intended to educate and guide the HCAHT member agencies as well as relevant secondary communities in how to best support those who have experienced trafficking and sexual exploitation. The goal of implementing the Support Model across the region of Halton is to enhance local coordination and collaboration and to ensure that service providers are educated on best practices to employ when supporting survivors.
As all clients are different, the support they ask for will be different. The Support Model is a living document, and will continue to be revised, evaluated, and updated as more resources and information are made available to the HCAHT.
It is important to make services accessible to those who choose to remain in vulnerable situations in a way that helps them stay as safe as possible. Harm reduction resources need to be easy to access, have no restrictions, and be provided with empathy and without judgement
For more information, to request the password to access the Client Centred Support Model and/or to request an educational presentation on Human Trafficking, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Anti-Human Trafficking Services
We recognize that survivors of human trafficking and sexual exploitation are survivors of trauma – many have experienced sexual and physical assault, emotional and mental abuse, coercion, manipulation, loss of agency, malnutrition, displacement, witnessed violence against others, threats to loved ones, and much more. We know that the experience of trauma overwhelms a survivor’s ability to cope, and that “experiences like these can interfere with a person’s sense of safety, self, and self-efficacy, as well as the ability to regulate emotions and navigate relationships. Traumatized people commonly feel terror, shame, helplessness and powerlessness.” (Essentials of Trauma Informed Care, Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse).
SAVIS operates from a harm reduction, non-judgmental, ARAO feminist framework. SAVIS’ mandate is to be accessible, free, equitable, immediate and supportive. SAVIS provides a range of core services, ongoing case management and crisis support to all survivors of human trafficking; sex trafficking, labour trafficking, forced marriage, domestic servitude and individuals at risk of exploitation. Our services include but are not be limited to:
SAVIS provides trauma-informed, survivor-centred supportive counselling that is goal and solution focused. We provide emotional support and assistance to build and restore connection, safety, stability and enhance coping strategies.
First Response Bags (personal hygiene products, clothes, etc.) are intended to meet immediate needs of a survivor.
Advocacy and Accompaniment
SAVIS provides accompaniments to police stations, Nina’s Place, court, legal and other appointments as needed. We cannot speak on your behalf, however, we will:
- Ensure you are treated in a humane way
- Offer information to demystify the legal and medical process
- Provide you with emotional support
Safety Planning and/or Risk Assessment
Individuals who have experienced sexual exploitation or are being trafficked frequently require support to safely leave the location they share with their exploitative partner/trafficker. The level of risk increases for the individual when the exploiter/trafficker believes that they are leaving the relationship or attempting to escape. Leaving must be done with a careful plan to mitigate/manage risk, enhancing a survivor’s safety.
SAVIS will help create an emergency escape plan so you are better prepared to leave a situation very quickly and safety planning once you have left. We will develop transition plans and safety strategies based on survivor’s goals.
Free and confidential one-on-one counselling available at our Acton, Burlington, Georgetown, Milton and Oakville locations.
Practical assistance for transportation and service accessibility
SAVIS is committed to identifying and removing barriers to accessibility. The Crisis Support Worker will help create individual accommodation wherever needed to better provide support.
System Navigation & Housing Supports
We network extensively with members of the Halton Collaborative Against Human Trafficking to provide information, referral and wrap-around support to survivors. We assist with navigating emergency housing, government supports (income support, social housing, medical coverage etc.), local community initiatives (food banks, recreation centres, libraries etc.), employment programming and more, to enhance our client’s independence, safety and security while living in the community.
Life skills and Mentorship
One-on-one mentorship focuses on learning life skills like budgeting, employment development, positive parenting, healthy relationships, healthy lifestyle habits, nutrition & cooking and much more. Survivors learn at their own pace based on their need to build a sense of belonging and thrive as they transition to living independently.
For more information, please call the Anti-Human Trafficking Crisis Support Line at: 289-837-3999