National and Local Experts Gathered in Atlanta to Drive Action on the Intersection of Human Trafficking and Intimate Partner Violence

Colleagues meet under title "Welcome to Region IV Engaging Community & Health Partners to Address IPV & Human Trafficking
Katherine Chon, Director, ACF Office of Trafficking in Persons; Sharon Ricks, HRSA Region 4 Administrator; Carlis Williams, ACF, Region 4 Administrator; Anna Pilato, ACF, Deputy Assistant Secretary for External Affairs

More than 50 service providers, state leaders, Federal agencies, and other experts discussed efforts to strengthen the Southeastern region’s work to raise awareness, build capacity, and improve service referrals among organizations assisting with individuals impacted by both human trafficking and intimate partner violence. Discussions included the need for trauma-informed responses, recognition that human trafficking and intimate partner violence exist on a spectrum of other violent crimes, and examples of promising practices in screening and services.

The Atlanta Mayor’s Office welcomed experts to the city and shared their latest efforts to combat human trafficking throughout the year, including special preparations for the Super Bowl game. On February 1, investigators reported that 40 people have been arrested for sex trafficking in the metro Atlanta area as part of crackdown during Super Bowl week.

Comments from participants:

“It is essential that advocates, health care, law enforcement and others connect the dots between intimate partner violence and human trafficking so that we can identify more victims and enhance services. The January 7, 2019 Convening on Intimate Partner Violence and Human Trafficking was a critical first step to begin these conversations and partnerships on the Southeast regional level, and I hope that HHS will continue work on this initiative.” Gretchen Hunt, Director, Office of Victims Advocacy, Kentucky Office of the Attorney General

“The Intimate Partner Violence & Human Trafficking conference was an excellent opportunity to explore a focus that deserves greater attention both within the Southeast and across the nation. I applaud ACF for their ongoing support of increased dialogue and strategizing amongst state representatives, NGO leaders, and our federal partners.” Kathryn Moorehead Director of VAWA and Human Trafficking, South Carolina Office of the Attorney General

"The partnership across the human service and health service agencies in HHS demonstrates the need for more collaborations in those areas where we are inextricably connected and resources can be leveraged for better outcomes for families." Carlis Williams, ACF Regional Administrator

“… I’m sure anyone who attended the convening would agree that there are myriad opportunities to create partnerships among government agencies, direct service organizations, funders, and the communities they serve to combat these crimes. …” --Roderica Williams, Senior Associate of Programs and Partnerships, Southeastern Council of Foundations

“While many prevention strategies focus on individual and relationship-level factors that influence the likelihood of becoming a survivor or perpetrator of IPV, it is important to acknowledge the influence of community environments (i.e., schools, workplaces, and neighborhoods). Approaches that work to foster a broader social and physical environment that improves safety, social connections, and awareness of IPV can help create a climate that supports prevention of violence against intimate partners.” - Preventing Intimate Partner Violence Across the Lifespan: A Technical Package. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017)

The January 7 convening was a collaboration across HHS including Region 4 leadership, the Health Resources Services Administration, Administration for Children and Families, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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