Training Program Teaches How to Recognize, Prevent Human Trafficking

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The City of Long Beach in partnership with the Los Angeles County Probation Department, St. Mary Medical Center, and the Long Beach Human Trafficking Task Force held a Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) human trafficking awareness training, as part of the City’s Safe Long Beach My Sister’s Keeper awareness campaign.

“Long Beach is committed to targeting all forms of violence and building communities where young people thrive,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “We will continue to focus efforts on reducing crime and providing supportive services that ensure the safety and well-being of our youth and families.”

The CSEC training reviewed human trafficking indicators, victim identification and engagement practices, and helpful resources for preventing these types of crimes. The event also included round table discussions for parents, educators, service providers, medical and juvenile justice professionals, and faith-based leaders to collaborate on Citywide gang reduction and human trafficking intervention strategies.

In January 2015, the Long Beach City Council accepted a three-year, $1.5 million California Gang Reduction, Intervention, and Prevention Program (CalGRIP) grant to support anti-gang efforts and prevent the victimization of at-risk female youth.

The CalGRIP grant, titled My Sister’s Keeper, is aimed at preventing gang membership and gang victimization among at-risk females between the ages of 10 and 24 years. The project includes a human trafficking awareness campaign, mental health treatment, housing assistance, and mentorship.

Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery and involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to exploit a person for labor or commercial use.

In 2014, the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline received reports of 3,598 sex trafficking cases nationwide. Last year, the Long Beach Police Department reported 17 cases of human trafficking.

This is the seventh consecutive year that the City has been a recipient of the CalGRIP grant. Since 2008, more than 2,200 Long Beach youth and families have been served by CalGRIP funded programs and services.

My Sister’s Keeper is part of Safe Long Beach, the City’s Violence Prevention Plan. Adopted by the City Council in May 2014, Safe Long Beach addresses a broad safety agenda aimed at reducing all forms of violence, including domestic abuse, child abuse, elder abuse, hate crimes, bullying, gang violence, and violent crime. The Plan draws upon the City’s many existing assets to target violence at its root and attain the goal of building a safer Long Beach by 2020.

For more information about CalGRIP, please contact Teresa Gomez at 562.570.6730 or Teresa.Gomez@longbeach.gov.

To anonymously report suspected human trafficking, call 800.539.2373.

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