Leading National Behavioral Healthcare Provider

Call 1-800-345-1292

  • June Awareness Month
  • Inspirational messages of Hope banner
  • Careers at Devereux
  • Commitment to Diversity
  • Who we help

Tweet Share on LinkedIn Send email Print

Human Trafficking Awareness Month: Offering hope and healing to youth in need

“Human trafficking is an issue that affects every country around the globe, and children are especially vulnerable. We want to help victims who have experienced this unimaginable trauma to heal; realize their inherent strength; and embrace a future full of promise.”
- Devereux Senior Vice President and Chief Clinical/Medical Officer  Yolanda Graham, M.D.

Human trafficking involves the use of force, fraud or coercion to lure victims and force them into labor or commercial sexual exploitation. In 2019, the National Human Trafficking hotline reported 11,500 human trafficking cases in the U.S.

During Human Trafficking Awareness Month in January, Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health wants to highlight the urgent need to prioritize the fight against this form of modern-day slavery.

“Everyone deserves an opportunity to thrive and succeed in life,” said Graham. “For children and adolescents who have experienced emotional, physical and sexual trauma, we want to help them understand that their past does not define who they are in this world. For those who may be at risk for commercial sexual exploitation, we want to help them recognize warning signs to prevent trauma from occurring. That is our focus this year – prevention.”

Risk factors for human trafficking

Human trafficking can happen to anyone, but some individuals may be more vulnerable than others. According to the Polaris Project, a nonprofit organization that runs the National Human Trafficking hotline, risk factors for human trafficking include:

  • Involvement with the child welfare system
  • Being a runaway or homeless youth
  • Recent relocation
  • Substance use
  • Mental health concerns

Supporting child survivors

Devereux Arizona’s Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) program provides comprehensive treatment for children and adolescents who have experienced trauma as a result of commercial sexual exploitation.

“In many cases, human traffickers groom their victims by offering compliments, money and other material items. Children may not fully comprehend what is happening or recognize that they are being victimized,” explained Devereux Arizona Clinical and CSEC Coordinator Heather Brady, M.A., LPC, BHP. “The healing process is difficult and delicate as we strive to build rapport with the individuals in our care and a relationship of trust. We validate their experiences; help them understand what happened; and support them on their path to recovery.”

Devereux Arizona is part of the Mercy Care Human Trafficking Collaborative Process for Minor Victims (the Collaborative), which is a public-private partnership between Mercy Care (an Arizona Medicaid health plan), police departments, court systems and multiple human services, behavioral health and medical providers. The goal of the Collaborative is to connect child sex trafficking victims with the services they need to overcome the significant trauma they have experienced in their young lives. Since 2017, the Collaborative has served and supported 291 children.

“Children who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation have highly specific needs,” Brady noted. “Our treatment strategies are designed to promote hope and healing as we work to help these individuals understand their trauma; avoid re-victimization; build their autonomy; and create new, healthier and happier lives.”

In addition to Arizona, Devereux’s CSEC services, which vary by state, are currently available in Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Texas.

Learn more about Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health.

 

Latest News

Samantha VanAlstyne   Devereux New York adult writes children’s book about journey with cerebral palsy

Samantha VanAlstyne is a devoted aunt, dedicated college student - and most recently - published author. VanAlstyne, who receives services through Devereux New York, wrote a children’s book titled, “Hi, I’m Sam,” about her journey with cerebral palsy and learning self-acceptance.

Devereux’s Glenholme School   Devereux’s Glenholme School celebrates its history, focuses on the future

What once was a country estate nestled in the lush, green rolling hills of Washington, Conn., is now Devereux Connecticut - The Glenholme School, a special needs boarding and day school, thanks to a generous donation more than 50 years ago from the Van Sinderen family.

Reginald “Reggie” Lewis   Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health features Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership Executive Director Reginald Lewis as conference keynote speaker

Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health recently featured Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership Executive Director Reginald “Reggie” Lewis as its keynote speaker during the organization’s 2021 Servant Leadership Champions Conference. The virtual conference brought together more than 50 emerging leaders for three days of intensive training to continue driving Servant Leadership best practices and behaviors across the organization.

Devereux Arizona   Devereux Arizona offers LGBTQ, gender-expansive integrated care

Devereux Arizona recently began providing LGBTQ and gender-expansive affirming integrated care to better meet the needs of youth enrolled in the organization’s outpatient program in Phoenix.

Tanika Williams   Celebrating Devereux’s Healthcare Heroes: Spotlight on Devereux New York Residential Manager Tanika Williams

At Devereux, our employees are at the heart of everything we do - and are key to our success. Learn how Devereux New York Residential Manager Tanika Williams is serving and inspiring others every day.

Jessica Kemp, Ph.D., NCSP   Devereux MA/RI clinician featured in Rhode Island Small Business Journal article on remote learning

Read this Rhode Island Small Business Journal article featuring Devereux Massachusetts and Rhode Island Therapeutic Day School Clinician Jessica Kemp, Ph.D., NCSP, as she shares tips she recently provided during a Department of Revenue presentation to help students, families and caregivers embrace online learning.

Colleen Eddy   Article with Devereux Pennsylvania CBHS doctoral intern as lead author selected as SPR ‘Article of the Year’

An article examining teachers’ classroom management practices authored by Devereux Pennsylvania Children’s Behavioral Health Services doctoral intern Colleen Eddy and colleagues, was recently selected as the “2020 Article of the Year” by the National Association of School Psychologists’ flagship journal, School Psychology Review.

Devereux Florida   WKMG-TV spotlights Devereux Florida’s partnership with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office to support mental health needs

Read this WKMG-TV report spotlighting Devereux Florida’s partnership with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office to launch a Behavioral Response Unit. Since January, two clinician-deputy teams have responded to nearly 400 mental health-related calls across Orange County.

Jessica Kemp, Ph.D., NCSP   Devereux MA/RI clinician shares remote learning tips during Department of Revenue presentation

Devereux Massachusetts and Rhode Island Therapeutic Day School Clinician Jessica Kemp, Ph.D., NCSP, recently offered tips to help parents engage children in remote instruction during a virtual panel discussion hosted by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue’s Diversity Council.


More Stories