Berkeley is located adjacent to well-known sex trafficking hubs for the Bay Area. Although the City of Berkeley has relatively few reported cases, to keep trafficking at bay, it is essential we prepare strong preventive and response mechanisms.
To tackle the problem, in 2012 the Berkeley City Council adopted a resolution to establish a joint subcommittee – chaired by Vice Mayor Linda Maio and including commissioners from the Commission on the Status of Women and the Peace and Justice Commission – to address sex trafficking in Berkeley. The Sexual Trafficking Joint Subcommittee has engaged with a trafficking survivor, members of the public, and with the Mills College Graduate Program in Public Policy. The subcommittee has also heard firsthand accounts of sexual trafficking from Berkeley community members, conducted a preliminary review of existing curricula, and reviewed current police training materials.
The Sexual Trafficking Subcommittee’s focus at this point includes the following:
- Determine the scope of the trafficking problem in Berkeley – beyond police data – by doing a quantitative study of service providers (citizen groups helping victims of trafficking).
- Create a clear set of policies and training for Berkeley Police to identify and offer services to trafficking victims.
- Work with the Berkeley Unified School District and educators to implement trafficking awareness curriculum, particularly for at-risk youth, as a preventive measure.
- Join the Alameda County Sexually Exploited Minors (SEM) Network, a network of service providers and system partners (government agencies with a role in stopping sex trafficking), to help them create coordinated care by sharing knowledge and information.
If you are interested in learning more or joining an effort to curb sex trafficking, contact Action Coordinator Carol Stone at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lori Droste, member Berkeley Joint Sexual Trafficking Subcommittee
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