Excerpts from the Comprehensive Plan. For access to the report and its various sections in full, click here.
Adopting a Victim-Centered Approach
Human trafficking is first and foremost a violation of an individual’s human right to freedom.The exploitation and violence perpetrated by traffickers against their victims violate this freedom. For many trafficking victims, recovery and rehabilitation from the cumulative trauma of trafficking depends on the restoration of their physical and mental health and sense of humanity. Using a victim-centered approach is essential to this process of restoration. Before trafficking victims are identified, once they are rescued, and long after any criminal case is closed, trafficked individuals are human beings with a right to live with freedom, dignity, and self-determination. When serving these victims, professional staff and volunteers must be cognizant of the physical and emotional abuse victims have suffered. The exploitation suffered by victims is extensive, pervading body and mind; recovery is a long and arduous process that can be facilitated or hindered by the types of interactions victims have with law enforcement and service providers. A victim-centered approach uses patience, empathy, and compassion for victims while responding to their needs.