It is no surprise that exploitation increases exponentially when natural disasters or wars occur. Right now, the Russian invasion of Ukraine is sending millions of people running to the borders. Most of these are women and children, as Ukrainian men stay and fight. These unprotected people are in extreme danger of exploitation. One of the […]
A 2012 study* by WestCoast Children’s Clinic showed that 75 percent of trafficked youth were exploited for two or more years before being recovered or identified as a victim. 50 percent of these youth were age 14 or under when the exploitation started. 75 percent do not view themselves as victims.
If we wait for these vulnerable youth to ask for help, they may never receive the services they deserve. We must take action now to intervene earlier in the process, and to prevent this from happening in the first place.
That’s why Unbound is opening The Underground, a drop-in center for trafficked and exploited youth, which will be the first of its kind in Tarrant County, Texas.
Chelsea is the lead case manager at Unbound Waco, providing comprehensive case management services to all types of human trafficking victims and survivors. We asked Chelsea some questions to better understand her role.
What does your role look like at Unbound Waco?
“My role involves journeying with human trafficking survivors through their processes toward healing and restoration. My first priority is ensuring their safety and meeting any immediate needs–food, clothing, shelter, etc. My second priority is building a client-worker relationship centered on trust. I build trust by listening to their stories, taking them to eat at their favorite restaurant, and remembering their birthdays. I build trust by discovering their strengths and dreams. It takes time to build trust, but it’s an important foundation for effective advocacy and case management.”
Unbound Houston Advocate Xala shared how she is able to help survivors find resources and healing in a society where “most people don’t slow down enough to just walk next to them.”
Xala described her position as an “advocate case manager.”
“I’m somebody who can walk next to them and help guide them in their daily journey of merging back to society,” she said.
According to Xala, this can range from having a cup of coffee together to discuss how the survivor is feeling, to driving them to an interview. She said that she focuses on “taking them from point A to point B,” which sometimes means enrolling them in a GED program, assisting them throughout the process of obtaining a driver’s license, and helping them find basic resources like food and shelter.
At Unbound, we believe that every person has a unique part to play in bringing an end to human trafficking. That’s why we encourage everyone (regardless of your career, age, or background) to get involved. Volunteers, survivors, and partners are truly the faces of Unbound; we wouldn’t be who we are without you! Below is […]