National Human Trafficking Prevention Month, observed during January, is dedicated to raising public awareness about human trafficking, which continues to be a major problem in America — even in 2022. In Suffolk County, our Safe Harbour program has been protecting and caring for children who are at-risk or have been sexually exploited since 2014. This month, take a moment to learn about this EAC Network program and how you can help us raise awareness about this important issue.
Safe Harbour Educates, Supports, and Advocates for Vulnerable Children
Located in Central Islip, Safe Harbour provides education, skills training, and support services to help children lead safer, more meaningful lives.
Who We Help
Before the passage of the Safe Harbour Act of 2008, these children were not considered to be victims but instead were criminally prosecuted. Now, there are Safe Harbour’s in every county of New York State and they are providing extra support through case management, counseling, safety planning, goal setting, care packages, and more! The young people in the program are minors who are at risk of trafficking and sexual exploitation or are victims and survivors. Trafficking and sexual exploitation may look like having engaged in sexual acts for a fee or other types of promised payment, having been groomed, having loitered or solicited for sexual acts, or having been physically assaulted, threatened, or otherwise coerced into performing sexual acts.
Risk factors for youth who may be trafficked or sexually exploited include:
- Homeless/Runaway Youth
- Children with a history of abuse
- Children with a history of out-of-home placements
- Children with disabilities
- LGBTQ youth
- Refugees, immigrants, and non-English speaking children
However, it is important to remember that all youth are at risk, as all youth have vulnerabilities
What We Do to Address the Problem
Safe Harbour, which operates at our Suffolk County Child Advocacy Center, offers medical and mental health assessments and case management services. It also provides referrals for residential placement, therapy and counseling, vocational counseling, potential police intervention, and community education.
Safe Harbour and Safe Harbour Mentoring programs provide extra support through community-based case management, mentoring, and outreach. Their approach is trauma-informed, victim-centered, and with an empowerment perspective. Safe Harbour and the Suffolk County Child Advocacy Center also strive to educate the community on human trafficking and how to identify potential victims.
How You Can Participate in National Human Trafficking Prevention Month
The National Human Trafficking Prevention Month’s awareness campaign centers on #WearBlueDay on January 11. To show your support, share a message with others on your social media networks along with the hashtag #WearBlueDay.
Anyone can participate. All you need is something blue to wear and a message to share!
Post a Selfie
Simply take a photo of yourself wearing something blue (a shirt, hat, scarf, etc.) and post it to social media using the #WearBlueDay hashtag in the caption.
Share a Video Message
If you think a photo will not tell the whole story, make a video message. Tell your followers why you are participating in #WearBlueDay and why they should consider joining you in raising awareness about human trafficking.
Encourage Others to Join You
Encourage your friends, family, or colleagues to participate. You could then start a friendly competition to see who’s #WearBlueDay post gets the most interaction online.
Support Our Mission to Help Children Lead Safe and Meaningful Lives
EAC Network supports the mission of National Human Trafficking Prevention Month. We are a nonprofit social services agency with more than 100 programs and direct support services, including Safe Harbour. We respond to human needs to create safer communities and stronger families throughout Greater New York.
Check out our Amazon Wish List! These are items that youth often need and/or can be beneficial to healing and growth. When you purchase an item from this list, it goes directly to a young person in Suffolk County and makes a positive impact.
Or, make a donation today to support our mission.