January is National Human Trafficking Awareness and Prevention Month, and the Nampa Family Justice Center is working to educate the community and elevate the services available to human trafficking victims through a $350,000 grant received from the Federal Office for Victims of Crimes last year. One aim of this grant is to continue providing training and education so that those providing services and those in our community can better identify and serve human trafficking victims.
On January 26, 2023, the Nampa Family Justice Center will be hosting a training for community members at the Nampa Police Department, located at 820 2nd St S, from 1-3 p.m. The training, “Understanding Human Trafficking,” will provide education around what human trafficking is, the dynamics of human trafficking including what makes individuals vulnerable and how traffickers solicit their victims, and what the red flags and warning signs are to help better identify it. Community members 18 years or older are welcome to attend in person or virtually. Please register online by January 23 as space is limited.
Since February of 2022, the Nampa Family Justice Center, along with Idaho Community Outreach Behavioral Services (COBS), has provided training to over 1,500 individuals in the state of Idaho, including law enforcement, prosecutors, community members, social service providers, legal service providers, educators, substance abuse treatment providers and medical professionals. The grant has also allowed the Nampa Family Justice Center, along with local grant partners, to increase training and provide direct services to victims of human trafficking including housing support, transportation assistance, food assistance and counseling.
Exact numbers and statistics are difficult to provide due to underreporting of the issue, misidentification of human trafficking as other crimes, and lack of identification. According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, the Idaho division received 109 contacts for assistance in 2021; and of those, 54 were direct contacts made by human trafficking victims and survivors. According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, there were 33 cases of human trafficking identified in 2021, with 37 victims involved in those cases. Idaho COBS shared that over the last two years, they have made contact with about 160 victims and survivors of human trafficking and have had over 50 women through their two safe homes in the last two years. Statistics and data are slowly becoming more available as our ability to properly identify this issue increases.
Jeannie Strohmeyer, Executive Director of the Nampa Family Justice Center shared, “While difficult to comprehend, human trafficking does happen in our community. Educating the public and sharing resources available for victims are critical steps to overcoming these horrific crimes.”
Victims can call the Idaho COBS crisis hotline at (208) 803-1695 or call/text the Idaho Anti-Trafficking Coalition crisis hotline at (208) 630-6601, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The National Human Trafficking Hotline is 1-888-373-7888 or text 233-733 (Be Free).
The mission of the Nampa Family Justice Center is to promote safety, self-sufficiency, hope and healing to those affected by abuse. The Nampa Family Justice Center provides free services to the community and is located at 1305 3rd St. S. in Nampa or by calling (208) 475-5700.