Progress Reports from the DPS Office to Combat Trafficking and the Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Coordinator

Office to Combat Human Trafficking 2018 Annual Report

Office to Combat Human Trafficking 2018 Annual ReportTerry Cowman, Human Trafficking Coordinator for the Iowa Department of Public Safety (DPS), recently met with the Network Board of Directors to give an update. Mr. Cowman’s (pictured below) progress report was followed by lots of questions. The Office to Combat Human Trafficking 2018 Annual Report has now been filed with the Iowa General Assembly and can be found by tapping here.

cowman-terry

Roxanne Ryan retired at the end of 2018 and a new DPS Commissioner was appointed by Gov. Reynolds on January 14, 2019. The Network has congratulated Stephen Baynes on this appointment. We have also expressed our gratitude to Roxanne Ryan for her support for the creation of the Office to Combat Human Trafficking and collaboration with the Network. She will be missed.

 

Report from Gretchen Brown-Waech

The following are highlights from a report to the Iowa Network Against Human Trafficking and Slavery Board submitted by Gretchen Brown-Waech (pictured here), Human Trafficking and Victim Rights Coordinator, Iowa Attorney General’s Office – Crime Victim Assistance Division (CVAD). What follows is Gretchen’s written report:

Gretchen-Brown-WaechMy tenure at Crime Victim Assistance Division began almost exactly 6 month ago – July 18, 2018. Those six months have been an unparalleled learning experience. Prior to my joining CVAD, I had very little experience working specifically in the anti-human trafficking field; my background in victim services was extensive, without specific human trafficking exposure.

I have learned so much in the past six months, about human trafficking in general, survivor experiences, and the broad coalition of groups and individuals who are united to fight it – in Iowa and nationwide. I continue to learn every single day.

Labor Trafficking: One of the key areas of focus for me in this position is to broaden the focus in Iowa from primarily sex trafficking to include the issue of labor trafficking. To that end, I chose a group of six advocates from around Iowa to attend a labor trafficking conference in Louisville, KY in October. This group of advocates (Iowa ALTA – Anti-Labor Trafficking Alliance) will be meeting in the coming months to map out the current state of services and a strategy to enhance labor trafficking services for this largely underserved or unserved group of victims and survivors.

Multi-Disciplinary Team: Crime Victim Assistance Division, in partnership with the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy and the Department of Public Safety, is convening the Multi-Disciplinary Team comprised of primarily state department level professionals to map out the existing scope of human trafficking services, identify the gaps in services, and lay out a strategy for addressing those gaps going forward.

National Human Trafficking Hotline Reporting Protocols: In exploring the protocols in place for referrals from the National Human Trafficking Hotline to victim services, I discovered that a critical link had been missing and acted to make connections between the appropriate people.

Material Development: I have redesigned the CVAD HT outreach cards and developed a card specifically for first responders (including law enforcement, firefighters, and EMS professionals) which will hopefully be ready for distribution soon.

As any trainer will tell you, an important component of good training is a familiarity with one’s curriculum. I have taken all the curriculum I was given at the beginning and modified it to fit my presentation style, as well as incorporate new information and research that I have discovered. I continue to modify my curriculum regularly both to fit a specific audience and to incorporate those changes. One major change I have updated the map of human trafficking cases that have been prosecuted in Iowa and created a spreadsheet with information about each of the cases (including several that originated in Iowa but were prosecuted elsewhere). This map follows:

Map of Human Trafficking Cases in Iowa

Trainings and Presentations: I have reached approximately 1600 people via trainings and presentations – my audiences have included law enforcement, first responders (fire/ems), medical professionals (MD, LPN, RN, RNP), attorneys and other legal system personnel, victim service advocates, legislators, Workforce Development professionals, Deaf community members, educators/administrators, and general community members.

August:
2 public presentations – approximately 650 people reached
September:
7 trainings/presentations – approximately 200 people reached
October:
6 trainings/presentations – approximately 120 people reached
November:
9 trainings/presentations – approximately 580 people reached
December:
No trainings/presentations
January:
3 trainings/presentations scheduled – unknown reach (37 thus far)

Please feel free to contact me with any questions. Email is the best method of contact.
gretchen.brown-waech@ag.iowa.gov
Respectfully submitted,
Gretchen Brown-Waech