Goal Statement: My goal for my social change portfolio is to bring heightened awareness to my community through proper training, education, and community involvement to increase the prevention of human trafficking in Orlando, Florida.
Significant Findings: Human Trafficking has become a $150 billion industry globally (Toney-Butler et al., 2023). It has become a type of pandemic that either no one seems to be talking about or gets overlooked. Florida is listed as one (1) of the top three (3) states following California and New York where human trafficking is prevalent (Human Trafficking Hotline, 2021). Women and young girls typically come to mind when discussing human trafficking, but young Caucasian males are also victims of human trafficking. This social change portfolio will discuss this marginalized population that is suffering in silence, as well as the risks and protective factors from a social-ecological model view. This portfolio will also discuss how combining Relational-Cultural Theory (RCT) and an evidence-based program, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) can assist in helping to establish and foster a necessity that is needed in their lives…connection and healthy relationships. Advocacy and Ethical Considerations will also be discussed in the pursuit of dismantling the stigmas and myths that men and young males cannot be human trafficked.
Objectives/Strategies/Interventions/Next Steps: Human trafficking is a silent pandemic that is becoming a growing concern, particularly in Florida. Human trafficking stems from a history of systemic racism and colonization which was globalized during the transatlantic slave trade through chattel slavery and regional practices of indigenous dispossession (www.state.gov). When discussing human trafficking, women, young girls, and people of color are typically brought up, but not young Caucasian males, as some may not think this subgroup would be considered victims of human trafficking as is evident with the current human trafficking programs that primarily focus on women and children. Not having programs, policies, and preventive measures that are non-gender specific further perpetuates the stigma of young Caucasian males becoming trafficking victims. It is imperative to meet the needs of male survivors as there are few anti-trafficking programs provided for them. Stop, Observe, Ask, and Respond (SOAR) is a program that can provide training in awareness of young Caucasian males being human trafficked beginning at the community level, from teachers to professional counselors. Creating and establishing services such as medical, safe housing, mental health and policies that are non-gender specific can allow young Caucasian males to feel safe in seeking these services, share their stories, and feel seen and heard. These steps can begin the process of debunking the myths and stigmas that males cannot become victims of human trafficking.