The COVID-19 crisis has disrupted our social landscapes and economy in significant ways that are having an adverse impact the lives of sexually trafficked individuals in Oregon. Each week our team of Safety Compass advocates encounter survivors who are being forced to quarantine with traffickers who demand they meet daily quotas at the expense of their own health and safety. These dynamics are compounded by economic hardships which are forcing many new victims into “the life” while inhibiting the clients we serve from accessing the most basic resources like food and baby formula. In the wake of the COVID-19 epidemic, our Safety Compass advocates are working 24-7 to support trafficking survivors through the following safe, innovative, trauma-informed services:
- Emergency Callouts with law enforcement: When Law Enforcement encounters an individual during the course of a police action, it is most often in the context of a rescue/recovery operation. Safety Compass has spent many years building an unmatched level of trust so that Police actively seek the help of Safety Compass Advocates and ask that they be present during these police actions and subsequent interviews.
- In-Person Support + Advocacy: The court room setting is perhaps the most stressful and fear inducing environment trafficking victims face. Safety Compass advocates continue to provide in-person support/advocacy to clients before, during, and after a case goes to trial.
- 24-Hour Crisis Hotline: Safety Compass maintains our 24-hour hotline so that those in crisis can speak directly with an advocate. Law Enforcement and other crucial partners utilize this service as well so that requests for support can me made any time of day or night.
- Relief Supply Delivery: Safety Compass works has partnered with other organizations to help with the delivery of emergency food and other basic necessities. Many of our clients lack the financial ability to properly feed their families. Without help they could be forced back into the sex trade in order to survive.
- Virtual Online Support + Safety Planning: Each week Safety Compass staff are providing virtual support and safety planning to survivors over the phone, email, Zoom or social media. In the wake of this global pandemic, our clients are in need of support, encouragement, and a reminder that they have not been forgotten. They need us now more than ever!
In the midst of these trying times, we cannot provide these life-giving services and support the clients we serve apart from your partnership and support. Thank you for standing with us to extend hope to those who need it most!
Founder and CEO, Safety Compass