HART (Human Anti-trafficking Response Team)

What to do...
If you are not safe, call 911
If you need assistance, call the National Trafficking Hotline 1-888-373-7888 (or text 233733)
If you are aware of a child who is being victimized, call the Careline 1-800-842-2288

Current Events:

     Human Trafficking Trainings:
  (for more information email:  DCFHART@ct.gov)
               CT Trainings on Human Trafficking 
     Community Training:
               Training of Trainers (TOT) Introduction to Human Trafficking for Medical Providers 
               Training of Trainers (TOT) Introduction to Human Trafficking for Law Enforcement
     Special Events:   (No scheduled events)
     Webinars:  Domestic Child Sex Trafficking!

 Current Featured Article (5/14/19):  HART Helps - Spring 2019

About HART
Blue Campaign
Brochures
Contacts:
     HART Liaison List 2019 (6/19)
     MDT Coordinators/CCA Directory (5/14/19)
INFORMATION about Human Trafficking and Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking
Videos

 
WEBINARS:  Please join the Connecticut Department of Children and Families, the Division of Public Defender Services/Child Protection/Juvenile Unit, and the ABA Center on Children and the Law for a webinar series on Domestic Child Sex Trafficking!

Save the Date:
Domestic Child Sex Trafficking 101
Wednesday, August 14 at 1-2pm ET

This interactive webinar will address the fundamentals of the justice system response to Domestic Child Sex Trafficking. Participants will understand the legal response to child sex trafficking, including involvement with the child welfare or juvenile justice systems, the range of case types, screening and assessment of risk, and provisions of Connecticut and federal laws. The session will discuss the victim’s trauma experience and how it may affect behavior and provide guidance on how to communicate with victims through a trauma-informed approach.

Please join at:
https://abacenter.adobeconnect.com/ct_dcst/
(866) 646-6488
979 313 7700#

Don’t miss the additional webinars in the series:

Trauma-informed Legal Advocacy
August 28, 2019, 1-2pm
Participants will understand the fundamentals of trauma and its effects on child clients, including complex trauma and children’s coping strategies. They will understand the implications of clients’ trauma histories on legal practice, and gain tools and resources on how to integrate trauma knowledge into daily legal practice on behalf of victims of Domestic Child Sex Trafficking. 

Judicial Responses to DCST: Runaway Youth and Youth Missing from Care
September 11, 2019, 1-2pm
The runaway youth population presents an opportunity for courts to identify and appropriately respond to victims of sex trafficking and youth at risk of victimization. Participants will learn about trauma-informed responses, specialized trafficking dockets such as California’s Dedication to Restoration through Empowerment, Advocacy, and Mentoring (DREAM) Court, and the tools and resources available to judges.

Juvenile Defenders: Representing Victims of Sex Trafficking
September 25, 2019, 1-2pm ET
This webinar will examine substantive and systemic challenges to defending clients who are victims of domestic child sex trafficking. It will identify approaches to better identify and address the needs of children in care who may be victims, explain how trauma plays a role in client interactions, and describe practices that can enhance juvenile defenders’ responses to child survivors of sex trafficking.

Tammy SneedCongratulations to HART (4/24/19)

Connecticut’s Human Antitrafficking Response Team (HART) receives recognition from the Administration for Children and Families (ACF)for their efforts to combat child trafficking in Connecticut.

Blue Campaign Logo   (#WearBlueDay)BCVideo

Wear Blue Photo Challenge: 2019,  2018, 2017  

The Blue Campaign is the unified voice for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) efforts to combat human trafficking. Working in collaboration with law enforcement, government, non-governmental and private organizations, the Blue Campaign strives to protect the basic right of freedom and to bring those who exploit human lives to justice.

CONGRATULATIONS TAMMY SNEED! (1/21/18)JusticeLogo
Read the U.S. Department of Justice Press Release

Tammy SneedMs. Sneed received the prestigious "United States Attorney's Outstanding Partnership Award."  Ms. Sneed has been essential in coordinating services for sex trafficking victims and assisting with local, sate, and federal investigations involving the sex trafficking of children.  Ms. Sneed and the Human Anti-Trafficking Response Team (HART) members work with law enforcement to coordinate victim interviews, victim housing placement and other victim services.  Ms. Sneed is also involved in organizing human trafficking training sessions for police officers, hospitals, educators and other groups, and involves law enforcement in these training sessions.  Ms. Sneed consistently goes above and beyond in assisting investigators and prosecutors, and has been integral to many human trafficking cases that have been prosecuted over the years.

INFORMATION about Human Trafficking and Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking
           
DMST Language of the Life
DMST Websites and Apps (6/19)
Governor's Task Force
HART Leadership and HART Committee Org Chart
Literature
Newsletter - HART Helps
News / Media / Archives
Organizations/Resources
Public Acts - Legislation
Red Flags
Reports
Services
Shining Star Awards
VIDEOS:SNEED

      Tammy Sneed, DCF-Child Sex Trafficking Challenge-MidLIFE Matters TV
      Connecticut's Response to Child Trafficking:  Presentation / Webinar          
      Just Surviving: No More (Created by the University of New Haven)
      Know the Signs of Human Trafficking
      The Power of Conversation (Love 146)

Addressing Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation of Children in Connecticut

"Our fight against human trafficking is one of the great human rights causes of our time, and the United States will continue to lead it- in partnership with you. The change we seek will not come easy, but we can draw strength from the movements of the past. For we know that every life saved-in the words of that great Proclamation-is an ‘act of justice’, worthy of the considerate judgment of mankind, and the gracious favor of Almighty God. When a little boy is kidnapped, turned into a child soldier, forced to kill or be killed — that’s slavery. When a little girl is sold by her impoverished family — girls my daughters’ age — runs away from home, or is lured by the false promises of a better life, and then imprisoned in a brothel and tortured if she resists — that’s slavery. It is barbaric, and it is evil, and it has no place in a civilized world.”                                                                                  President Barack Obama, 9/25/12

About HART   HART DATA:  2018, 20172016,  2015, 2014

The Human Anti-trafficking Response Team (HART) was created in order to focus on and reduce Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking (DMST).  In October of 2014 The Department of Children and Families (DCF) received a $1 million federal grant to improve Connecticut's response to child victims of domestic sex trafficking.  The five-year grant from the federal Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families will support DCF's efforts to coordinate the response by local and state agencies, including law enforcement and the medical community, so that child victims of sex trafficking receive effective and comprehensive treatment and legal services.     

The State of Connecticut Legislature has created legislation to promote public awareness and prevention of child sex trafficking, to provide for ongoing monitoring of efforts to combat trafficking, to clarify mandatory reporting, and to provide a statewide oversight and monitoring body.

The State of Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF) has increasingly sharpened its focus on the growing issue of DMST afflicting children across the State. Since 2008, over 800 children have been referred to DCF as possible victims of DMST. Connecticut DCF has put forth tremendous efforts to end the sale of our children.

These efforts fall within three categories:
  • Identification and Response
  • Awareness and Education
  • Restoration and Recovery
There are six Human Anti-trafficking Response Teams in Connecticut. These are inter-disciplinary teams lead by experienced HART Liaisons and includes; the child’s treatment team, specialized providers and legal representation if indicated.
 
The HART Liaison works with the local Multi Disciplinary Team (MDT) ensuring the cases are afforded all resources to maximize prosecutions while ensuring the child and families are provided the appropriate medical and mental health services they are entitled to as victims.

Brochures

Newsletter - HART Helps                     

  • a person must be eighteen of age or older to be guilty of prostitution
  • states attorneys and local law enforcement must document training, investigations of missing children, trafficking referrals, trafficking cases referred for prosecution, etc.
  • hotels/ motels/ inn or similar lodging must provide trafficking training  and awareness campaigns to all employees annually
  • hotels/ motels/ inn or similar lodging must keep guest transactions and receipts for at least 6-months

2015 Public Act 15-195:

  • expands the crime of human trafficking by broadening the conditions under which the crime is committed when the victim is a minor (under age 18);
  • requires the Department of Public Health (DPH) to provide human trafficking victims the same services it must provide certain sexual assault victims under existing law;
  • expands the conditions under which a court must order the erasure of a juvenile's police and court records;
  • expands the list of crimes, including human trafficking, for which wiretapping may be authorized;
  • specifically allows the Office of Victim Services (OVS), under certain circumstances, to waive the two-year limitation on crime victim compensation applications for minors who are victims of human trafficking.

2014 Public Act 14-186:

  • Human Trafficking victims classified as “uncared for” DCF to provide services
  • DCF provides training to law enforcement on human trafficking of minors
  • Creation of MDT’s to work with human trafficking cases

2013 Public Act 13-166:
"An Act Concerning Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking in Persons".  Alignment with federal TVPA, Class C felony if the person knew or reasonably should have known at the time that such other person was either younger than the age of eighteen, forfeiture properties, affirmative defense for minors, vacating records, public awareness and prevention, ongoing monitoring of efforts to combat trafficking, mandatory data reporting, statewide oversight and monitoring body.

2012 Public Act 12-141:
"An Act Concerning Commercial Sexual Exploitation of a Minor". This new statute defines commercial sexual exploitation of a minor as a person who knowingly purchases advertising space for an advertisement for a commercial sex act that includes a depiction of a minor. Commercial sexual exploitation of a minor is a class C felony.

2011 Public Act 11-180:
The law provides in part that upon the arrest of any youth by an officer for a violation of section 53a-82, such officer shall report suspected abuse or neglect to the Department of Children and Families in accordance with the provisions of sections 17a-101to 17a-101d.  Those reports should be made to the DCF Careline at 1-800-842-2288.

2010 Public Act 10-115:
“An Act Providing a Safe Harbor for Exploited Children” becomes law. The legislature amends Conn. General Statutes Section 53a-82 to state that a person must be sixteen years of age or older to be guilty of prostitution, and in any prosecution of a person sixteen or seventeen years of age, there shall be a presumption that the actor was coerced into committing such offense by another person.           

Literature

Blue Campaign Resource Catalog
Child Sex Trafficking: A Training Series for Frontline Officers Toolkit
DCF Response to Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking (2012)
EMS Tool - What you need to know
Language/Terms used "In The Life"
List of Websites and Apps that have been used for Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking (DMST) Related Activities
Human Trafficking: Guidebook on Identification, Assessment and Response in the Health Care Setting  
Office on Trafficking in Persons
Out of the Shadows: A Tool for the Identification of Victims of Human Trafficking
Recognizing and Responding to Human Trafficking among American Indian, Alaska Native and Pacific Islander Communities. (2015)
Resource Guide: Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Washington County (OR) - Juvenile Department
Shared Hope International Report Cards by State
The Department of Education released “Human Trafficking in America’s Schools"

Organizations/Resources         

Justice Department
LOVE 146 Referrals for Survivor Care (by DCF Office)
Village for Families and Children
LGBTQ Hotline Numbers (12/11/18)
Reaching Out for Help: A Guide for LGBTQ Youth on How to Receive Support and Services from the National Human Trafficking Hotline
Staying Safe: Tips for LGBTQ Youth for How to Protect Yourself and Your Community from Human Trafficking

Reports

2018 HART Data (January-December 2018)
2017 HART Data (January-December 2017)
2016 HART Data (January-December 2016)
Protected Innocence Challenge Report 2018

Services

Love146's Not a Number curriculum offers prevention education to middle and high school age youth. Using a “train-the-facilitator” approach, Love146 maximizes the reach of the curriculum by training facilitators to implement the curriculum in schools, child welfare and juvenile justice agencies, residential programs, and other community settings.

Website:  https://love146.org/notanumber/

Love146's Survivor Care Program provides targeted services to youth who are at high-risk for or confirmed survivors of child trafficking. In addition, Love146 offers services to providers and caregivers so that they are better able to support and meet the needs of these youth.


Website:  https://love146.org/programs/u-s-survivor-care/

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The Village Clinical Services.  The Village staff receive comprehensive training on the unique challenges faced by trafficking victims and their families.  We provide specialized care through a full range of custom programs, including outpatient therapy, therapeutic foster care and adoption, in-home and intensive therapy, and residential treatment. Our unwavering dedication helps those we serve to believe that their lives are meaningful and helps them achieve real change. Call 860-236-4511 to talk with one of our access staff, or visit www.thevillage.org to learn more about our programs.

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The International Institute of Connecticut (IICONN), founded in 1918, is a statewide nonprofit human services agency that addresses the need to provide new immigrants and refugees in Connecticut with services to help them become self-sufficient, integrated and contributing members of the community.  The organization focuses on helping those individuals who face significant barriers to adjusting.

Project Rescue, Anti-Human Trafficking Program is a program designed to assist victims of human trafficking identified in the State of Connecticut. It is funded under a grant from the Office for Victims of Crime, within the U. S. Department of Justice and is operated by the International Institute of Connecticut (IICONN).

Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery. Victims who are forced, defrauded or coerced into labor or sexual exploitation. It is estimated that approximately 800,000 to 900,000 victims are trafficked annually across international borders, and between 14,000 and 17,000 of those victims are trafficked into the US. In cooperation with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut and federal and local law enforcement, Project Rescue was established to provide help to these victims. The aims of this program are:

  • to provide comprehensive services to trafficking victims
  • to build effective community service networks to respond to victims’ needs
  • to provide training to service providers and the public
  • Under the Project, comprehensive services include:
    • Housing assistance
    • English and job training skills
    • Health services
    • Language and cultural assistance
    • Transportation
    • Legal and immigration services
                   
While many of these services are provided by IICONN the Project makes referrals to other cooperating community organizations, to ensure that the individualized needs of each victim are met. Project Rescue also provides education and outreach to the community regarding the issues and data of human trafficking in Connecticut, the nature of trafficking and about the help that is available in Connecticut..
 
If you or someone you know needs help, please contact us. If you are part of a social service agency or other group that you think could benefit from training on trafficking issues, such as victim identification or dealing with victims, please contact IICONN at 203-336-0141, the National Trafficking Hotline at 888 373-7888 or email at projrescue@iiconn.org.

Website:   https://cirict.org/
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The Salvation Army's Bloom Initiative works with survivors of sex and/or labor trafficking, male or female, ages 16 and up, in the Greater Hartford area. Bloom offers long-term, comprehensive case management to survivors on their journey from exploitation to empowerment. Services may include, but are not limited to, basic needs assistance, spiritual support, and referrals to community services. Survivors engage in three phases, Strengthen, Heal, and Revitalize. During the Strengthen phase, survivors are working to stabilize their housing and income. During Heal, survivors are connecting with spiritual and therapeutic services, as needed. In the final phase, Revitalize, survivors are reintegrating back into the community of their choosing. When program capacity permits, referrals are accepted from outside the Greater Hartford area. For more information on services and/or to make a referral, please call 860-218-1573.

Website:  https://ctri.salvationarmy.org/SNE/CombatingTrafficking

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Connecticut Legal Services is Connecticut's largest nonprofit law firm, dedicated to improving the lives of low-income people by providing access to justice. We believe that Connecticut can be the first state with universal access to justice - a place where every person is treated fairly and has equal opportunities to thrive. We use a wide range of legal advocacy tools - from legal representation, to advocacy and training, to impact litigation - to make a difference for low-income clients.

The civil legal services provided by Connecticut Legal Services can make an enormous difference in legal and life outcomes for human trafficking survivors. Survivors may need help with restraining orders, child custody, or divorces. They may need access to government benefits if they cannot work because of physical or emotional trauma, or help overcoming barriers to housing, employment, or obtaining legal residency status in the United States. And legal services can help them vindicate their rights as victims and witnesses in the criminal justice system.

 

For more information about Connecticut Legal Services, please contact our Executive Director, Debi Witkin (dwitkin@connlegalservices.org ) or our Human Trafficking Fellow, Wesleigh Anderson (WAnderson@connlegalservices.org or 203-388-1708).

Website:  https://ctlegal.org/            
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Foster Care

Klingberg Family Centers provides therapeutic foster care and permanency services for children and youth ages 8-21 who have experienced abuse, neglect and other negatively impacting life experiences.  Klingberg’s therapeutic foster care program is committed to serving youth that are at high-risk for or victims of Human Trafficking.  Our clinical case managers receive extensive training in this area and able to provide families with additional training, supports and resources.  In addition, we work closely with Klingberg’s outpatient clinical services to provide a wraparound approach for the care of this high-need population.

For information about being approved as a foster parent or for placement requests, contact Director Tania Pierret at 860-832-5535 or by email at tania.pierret@klingberg.org.   To learn more about the program model, contact Sr. Director, Christine Keys at 860-832-5532 or by email at christinek@klingberg.org.

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The Underground
is a grass-roots, faith-based initiative dedicated to ending sex trafficking and sexual exploitation in Connecticut. Established by eight church leaders in October 2013, we are a network of churches that believe in Jesus Christ and His mission. We currently represent over 850 members from more than 135 community churches and are growing. We believe that ending human trafficking and sexual exploitation requires the efforts and voices of many people and we are committed to working with those agencies and individuals steadfastly involved in abolition movement.

Website:    https://www.theundergroundct.org

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1:1 Mentoring

We Matter!, a program of Klingberg Family Centers, is a 1:1 community based volunteer mentoring program for DCF involved youth, ages 14-21, who are identified as high risk for or victims of human trafficking.  Volunteer mentors are provided with specialized training to understand the unique needs of the mentees.  Mentors commit to a minimum of 6 hours of 1:1 time and at least weekly contact for a period of 12 months.  Program support is provided to both the mentor and mentee to build a lasting connection.  Mentors and mentees are provided with recreational, educational and vocational activities to enhance their relationship and development of life skills.  Group classes are provided to address prevention of victimization or re-victimization and safety skills. We Matter! serves youth from the New Britain, Waterbury and Bridgeport area offices.  All referrals are made through the DCF HART liaison. 

For more information, contact Program Coordinator, Ellie Cuifalo at 860-832-5519 or by email at ellie.cuifalo@klingberg.org.  

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The Office of Victim Services 

The Victim Compensation Program: If you or someone you know is the victim of a violent crime, the Victim Compensation Program may be able to help pay for certain crime expenses that are not covered by insurance or another financial resource.

Website:   https://www.jud.ct.gov/crimevictim/compensation.htm

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Connecticut Lodging Association:  https://www.ctlodging.org/         

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Connecticut Institution for Refugees and Immigrants: https://cirict.org/project-rescue/

Shining Star Awards

Brooke Morris, Courtney Collier, Detective Matthew Greenstein and Brian Sibley 
Latoya Lowery and Sargent Jason Amato
Detective Joshua Lewis and The Underground
Marilyn Kmetz and Erin Williamson
Yvette Young
Karen Diaz

News / Media

Current Featured Article:  Investigator Courtney Desilet from the East Hartford Police Department Speaks Out

2019 Articles

Man Sentenced To 15 Years For Sex Trafficking
Tolland Public Library To Host Seminar On Child Trafficking Saturday
Plainfield Little League Coach Accused Of Trying To Solicit Teen For Sexual Activity In Rhode Island Suspended

Archived 2018 Articles
Feds Charge Hartford Man With Sex Trafficking A Minor
‘King Sin’ Gets 14 Years For Sex Trafficking Of Minor
Bridgeport Man Accused Of Soliciting 13-Year-Old Girl: Feds
Manchester Hotel Owner Arrested On Sex Charges; State Police Find ‘Sex Dungeon’
Case Reveals Shame, Trauma Of Male Sex Trafficking Victims

Archived 2017 Articles
Grace Farms to take on human trafficking
Harvey, Irma, and Maria:  Natural Disasters and Human Trafficking
Waterford Man Pleads Guilty to Producing Child Pornography
Hospitality/Hotelier's LOVE 146 Resources website
Human Trafficking Bill Would Increase Penalties, Impact Motels
Hartford man Charged with Sex-Trafficking three Minors
We all need to be more vigilant to stop human trafficking
Malloy announces Partnership to Help Hospitality Employees Identify Human Trafficking
Connecticut Trafficking in Persons Council (TIP) Annual Report
Training to Sport Human trafficking
Hoteliers Take Sex-Trafficking Prevention 101
Wear Blue to raise awareness about human trafficking

Archived 2016 Articles
Letter from the Commissioner concerning the Hospitality Industry Training
Sex:  Fastest growing crime
SURVIVING:  Abused as a child, one victim is now working to help others
Exposing the underground
Connecticut went from a "C" to a "B"
State Battles Child Trafficking
C.E.O. of Backpage.com, Known for Escort Ads, Is Charged with Pimping a Minor
Sex Trafficker Sentenced to 10 Years; Exploited Minor Teen at Motels in State
An Act Strengthening Protections for Victims of Human Trafficking
Bridgeport Residents Charged with Sex Trafficking of a Minor
New Haven group working against Human trafficking to expand Survivor Care Program