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Human trafficking victims response team gets DOJ certification


Traumatized and afraid, the path back to healing is a rocky one for victims of human trafficking. It may begin with a phone call, a recovery, a run. But that’s only the beginning; rebuilding a life takes so much more than just stepping back into liberty.

Fortunately, in Deschutes County, a local response team comprised of 16 experts in their various fields follows up on all human trafficking leads. The Deschutes County Commercially Sexually Exploited Children (CSEC) Response Team then coordinates a continuum of care, helping victims become survivors, and providing meaningful access to services beyond emergency response.

Adding to their list of resources, the Deschutes County CSEC Response Team was awarded certification from the Oregon Attorney General’s Trafficking Intervention Advisory Committee. Certification links the local task force to a coordinated statewide response. This public acknowledgment that they have met certification requirements also may open doors for additional grants and funding to grow the program.

According to the Oregon DOJ website’s list of requirements for certification, a task force must be:

Trauma Informed: Understanding the physical, social, and emotional impact of trauma on the individual, as well as on the professionals who help them.

Victim Centered: The victim’s wishes, safety, and well-being take priority in all matters and procedures.

Multidisciplinary: Service provider and law enforcement partnerships are crucial. A comprehensive effort should include organizations with expertise in reaching targeted populations in culturally sensitive and linguistically correct ways, as well as those with expertise in trauma, emotional bonding, climate of fear, and other circumstances.

Deschutes County CSEC Response Team is comprised of members representing: Deschutes County Parole and Probation, Deschutes County Behavioral Health, Deschutes County DHS-Child Welfare, and Deschutes County Juvenile Department, Deschutes County District Attorney’s Office, Deschutes County Victim’s Assistance, City of Bend Police, Redmond Police Department, Sunriver Police Department, Oregon State Police, FBI, J Bar J Youth Services, KIDS Center, Guardian Group, and In Our Backyard.

Get connected. The National Hotline offers a safe space to report tips, seek services, and ask for help. This hotline is linked with Central Oregon services and support with a 24 hour/ 7 day a week response. Call 1-888-373-7888 | Text BeFree (233722)

Cascade Youth & Family Center is a program of J Bar J Youth Services, providing street outreach, emergency shelter, and transitional living for run-away and homeless youth, and case management for victims of human trafficking.

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