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

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

NBA

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

NFL

Jerry Reese confident with Giants, skipping countdown clocks…

Last year, Giants GM Jerry Reese installed a countdown clock in the locker room to inspire Big Blue to play in their own stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII.

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.