NAHT Calls for You to Help – COVID-19 Continues to Play Into Traffickers’ Hands

NAHT calling for your help on #GivingTuesdayNow – May 5

#GivingTuesdayNow logoIn just four days, on May 5th, the #GivingTuesdayNow fundraising campaign will be launched. This is a global effort to promote donations to nonprofits such as NAHT. We hope to inspire you to go to our NAHT website at https://iowanaht.org/donate-now/ to make a donation between now and next Tuesday. If you prefer, go to our Facebook page here and donate through Facebook. Or you may simply write a check. Send your donation to our office at 5508 West Lincoln Way, Ames, IA 50014. Please make your checks out to Iowa Network Against Human Trafficking.

COVID-19 is a Calamity for the Fight Against Human Trafficking

Zoom meeting screenshotThe April NAHT blog post brought your attention to how traffickers are taking advantage of COVID-19 to further exploit vulnerable victims. Human trafficking thrives on chaos and desperation, and COVID-19 is continuing to fuel human trafficking globally. Direct service programs have lost their volunteers and many have cut back services because of COVID-19 and the risk of infection.

The NAHT held a statewide Zoom virtual meeting for Iowa survivor service providers on April 14 which had 20 participants. This group of service providers is now called the Survivor Service Provider Collaboration. This photo was taken during the Zoom meeting at which each program described the impact of COVID-19 on their services, staff, and volunteers. A downturn in donations has also occurred across the board. For an update on how COVID-19 is impacting human trafficking across the globe, you may access the Rotary Action Group Against Slavery newsletter here.

Important anti-trafficking news from the Public-Private Advisory Council to End Human Trafficking

Grassley-and-DavidsonYou may recall that a previous blog post announced that President Trump had appointed Teresa Davidson of Cedar Rapids to be a member of the Public-Private Partnership Advisory Council to End Human Trafficking. The NAHT is very pleased that Iowa has a strong voice on the Council.

Teresa is a member of the Iowa NAHT Board of Directors. She works as the Anti-Human Trafficking Coordinator at Mercy Medical Center and is the founder of Chains Interrupted, a Cedar Rapids organization that focuses on raising awareness, educating, and providing human trafficking survivor services.

The Public-Private Partnership Advisory Council to End Human Trafficking is a result of Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley’s bill that passed in the last Congress, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. The role of the advisory council is to provide advice and recommendations to a larger federal task force to addressing human trafficking.
The following is a report by Davidson of her first meeting in Washington, D.C.:

Dear Iowa anti-trafficking advocates,
I traveled to Washington DC for the first convening of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Advisory Council in late January. It truly was an honor to meet my 9 fellow team members on the council; they are all incredible human beings! We elected Tim Ballard (founder of the Underground Railroad) and Sandra Morgan (Director of the Global Center for Women and Justice at Vanguard University) as co-leaders of the council and divided into two subcommittees; prevention and survivor care. I was appointed to the survivor care subcommittee, which is co-led by Bruce Deel (founder and CEO of the City of Refuge in Atlanta) and Esta Soler (founder of Futures Without Violence).

To read the rest of Teresa Davidson’s very interesting Washington, D.C. report, here.

Iowa Law Enforcement Academy hires new full-time trafficking instructor

At a recent meeting of the NAHT Board of Directors, Jerry Ingrisano, Assistant Director of the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy, introduced Devon Greiter as the new academy human trafficking instructor. Devon reviewed her background and answered questions about the curriculum and her availability to train local community law enforcement agencies. Devon has given permission to share her contact information: devon.greiter@iowa.gov.

DevonDevon Greiter’s Bio
Devon is a proud graduate of Drake University where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. As a self-proclaimed, life-long learner, Devon went on to obtain her Master’s Degree in Forensic Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She hopes to share the gift of education to those around her to ensure that law enforcement in Iowa is best equipped to be safe and successful throughout their entire career. To read more about Devon Greiter’s experience and training, click here.
  

Information and Resources

  1. ‘Happening in plain sight:’ Victim, officials stress prevalence of human trafficking in Midwest (PDF)
  2. Podcast: Why Shelters for Victims Fail and How to Offer Stable and Effective Shelter Services
    https://celiawilliamson.com/episodes/episode-39-why-shelters-for-victims-fail-and-how-to-offer-stable-and-effective-shelter-services
  3. 5 ways you can help to defend children from sex trafficking right now – from Thorn
    https://www.thorn.org/blog/5-ways-you-can-help-to-defend-children-from-sex-trafficking-right-now/
  4. Labor Trafficking Training Announcement
    https://www.humantraffickingacademy.org/event/summer2020/