Task force: State needs more services for human trafficking victims

martha coakley boston
Attorney General Martha Coakley.
Credit: Nicolaus Czarnecki/METRO

Human trafficking can be reduced and stopped if the state worked toward bettering services including establishing safe houses, improving data collection, increasing education efforts and reducing demand, according to a report released Monday. 

The report’s recommendations were announced by Attorney General Martha Coakley and other members of the Interagency Human Trafficking Policy Task Force. The report was mandated by the human trafficking law that was passed in 2011.

Coakley said the task force believed that the recommendations were “among the most comprehensive in the country.”

One of the recommendations discussed in the report was the need to establish safe houses for victims.

For Audrey Morrissey, the associate director of the service group My Life My Choice, the victim services recommended in the report would have helped her as a survivor of the commercial sex industry.

Morrissey, who said she was recruited into the sex industry at 16, didn’t get out until she was 30.

“There were no services. The only way I could cope with what was going on – the abuse and all things I was going through – was substance abuse,” she said. “I look at that and think how I could have avoided it if there were services and places to go.”

Coakley said the Internet has made human trafficking increasingly profitable and tougher to catch with victims moved around with the help of the web instead of on the street corner in view of people who may be able to help.

“I don’t think it’s diminishing. I think it’s becoming a very lucrative business,” Coakley said.

The E.V.A. Center, a Boston-based program that works with adult women involved in the sex trade, reported in 2011 that it served 225 adult women since the program began in 2006. Of that, 145 were between the ages of 17 and 25.

Other recommendations made by the task force include: developing a first-offender program option or “John school” for all sex-buying arrestees in order to address demand, piloting a data collection program to allow for sharing of information between law enforcement agencies and victim service groups and making culturally and language appropriate training to health care providers and law enforcement personnel.

Asked about how the recommendations would be paid for, Coakley pointed to creating partnerships with service organizations and not-for-profits as one way to help offset the cost.

Going forward, she said, the group will have to look at “what kind of dollars we would need.”

The report lists the recommendations for state lawmakers.

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

By Piya Sinha-RoyLOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Marvel Entertainment's chief emeritus Stan Lee may be in his ninth decade, but it hasn't stopped him from adding…

National

Islamic State says beheads U.S. journalist, holds another

Islamic State insurgents released a video purportedly showing the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley, who had gone missing in Syria nearly two years ago.

Local

VIDEO: NYPD seeks shooter in East New York…

Cops are on the lookout for an unknown shooter who aimed and missed hitting a man on a bicycle, instead nearly striking a nearby officer in East New York.

Local

NYS state forces thrift shops comply with ban…

Nine New York City thrift shops were reprimanded by the state attorney general for selling children's clothes with drawstrings around the neck and waist.

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 11,…

Caleb's not a ghost. Spencer might still be an attempted murderer. And Hanna's going to die next week. In other words, we actually got some…

Movies

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

Marvel Entertainment's Stan Lee is adding outposts to his creative empire to interest a new generation of children in super heroes of all shapes and sizes.

Television

Mira Sorvino explores immortality on 'Intruders'

Mira Sorvino's new show "Intruders" centers around a secret society that achieves immortality by taking over the bodies of other people.

Television

5 things you need to know about new…

"Doctor Who" returns Saturday with a new star, Peter Capaldi. Here's some things to know about him (mainly his turn as sweary spin doctor Malcolm Tucker).

MLB

Shane Greene travels unlikely road to Yankees stardom

Shane Greene was throwing a bullpen session on a quiet field at Daytona Beach Community College one day when the ball started moving.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL tight ends (TE)

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

NFL

David Wilson returns to triple jump, sets sights…

Giants fans know David Wilson can jump. They are just more used to seeing him go for backflips, not distance.

Style

11 timeless gifts for registries or just because

Gifts to prove you're a style maven once and for all.

Parenting

How everyday moments can inspire kids' creativity

"The Artist's Way for Parents" author Julia Cameron gives advice on how parents and children can be creative together.

Tech

How to stay safe online

Stop worrying about keeping your online passwords safe, and start worrying about keeping your username a secret. Actually, worry about both. According to Shaun Murphy…

Tech

OpenTable now lets you pay your bill via…

The restaurant app OpenTable added the ability to pay your bill (and tip) with your phone, thus cutting back on a few dining annoyances.