DVIP’s is a proud partner of the Johnson County Human Trafficking Coalition (JCHTC): a group of medical providers, law enforcement officials, attorneys, community agency providers, and education staff that are working to raise awareness on the issue of human trafficking in our community and take steps to actively combat it through education and outreach. Below you can read about one JCHTC member’s reasons for getting involved with the coalition. To learn more about how you can support the JCHTC by visiting their website at humantrafficking-ia.org
During my internship at Iowa City Police Department, my direct supervisor invited me to tag along to a JCHTC meeting. The first meeting I listened, observed, and learned how prevalent human trafficking (HT) was in the Johnson County area as well as Iowa. Working with victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, victims of crime along with other’s who experience trauma, I had never worked with a victim of human trafficking. Talking with detectives about their interactions with victims of human trafficking, I knew then I wanted to learn more about recognizing the signs of HT and how to best educate the public on how big of a problem this is in our own community. I am passionate about providing trauma-informed care to those who have experienced life changing events while learning that each traumatic event brings a different set of emotions and there is not a one size fits all fix. The desire to learn more from persons who had experience working with HT victims and who were involved with JCHTC was a good place for me to begin. Educating young kids that may be more vulnerable to wanting a better life and being coerced into believing someone telling them they can provide that for them, only to find out that they are being groomed for becoming their property, and experiencing things they may never recover from, drives me to learn and become more aware myself and to help others avoid this type of control.
Ann Thompson, MSW
Victim Services Coordinator
Iowa City Police Department