We Need Your Help: May 30 Call-In Day to Support Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act

Dear WestCoast Community:The Justice For Victims of Trafficking Act (JVTA), S. 1738 is the only comprehensive human trafficking legislation that provides funding for the services that sexually exploited youth need to heal. It also addresses the demand that drives the sex trafficking market by giving law enforcement the prosecutorial tools needed to target those who purchase sex from minors.The House of Representatives unanimously passed the JVTA last week. Now we need the Senate to take up the legislation in order for it to become law.

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WCC hosts symposium on sexually exploited youth

Dear WestCoast Community,

On April 17, we hosted a symposium to surface some of the key dilemmas we face in adequately serving exploited youth, We Can Do Better: Improving our response to child sex trafficking in Alameda County. The panel and subsequent discussion is meant to guide our collective efforts towards improving the system for youth. To learn more about the symposium, please read this article in the Chronicle of Social Change.

You can take action right now to improve services for sexually exploited youth. Click here to learn more about current legislative proposals, and how to support them.

We extend our thanks to the sponsors who supported the symposium, Chabot-Las Positas Community College DistrictZellerbach Family Foundation, andGirls Rights Project. We are also grateful to our panelists, who represent a range of organizations and systems that work with trafficked youth: Continue reading

It’s about more than just corn subsidies…

Dear WestCoast Community,

The federal Farm Bill, currently under negotiation in Congress, is about more than just corn subsidies—it also contains a program critical to the healthy development of low-income children: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP, also known as food stamps, helps feed children and families living in poverty. Continue reading

What happens after an FBI raid?

Dear WestCoast Community,

According to national news reports last week, the FBI rescued 105 victims from commercial sexual exploitation in 76 cities throughout the country. But what happens to victims after they are recovered? Some are returned to their families or foster care placements. The Chronicle of Social Change delved deeper to report that others are not treated like victims at all: Some Trafficking Victims ‘Rescued’ by the FBI Have Been ArrestedContinue reading

Its Right Here…

Dear WestCoast Community,

As awareness grows in Oakland and beyond about the commercial sexual exploitation of children, WestCoast is at the forefront, providing crucial expertise about the problem and ways we can address it. In an article published by Oakland Local today, WestCoast’s Director of Research and Evaluation, Dr. Danna Basson, shared our research on the trauma and impact of sexual exploitation on our clients as we reported last year in Research-to-Action: Sexually Exploited Minors Needs and Strengths. Continue reading

WestCoast participates in Senate Health and Human Services Hearing

Dear WestCoast Community,

As part of our continued efforts to advocate for an improved statewide response to the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) in California, WestCoast participated in a California Senate Committee on Human Services Hearing this past Tuesday. The hearing brought together leaders from the multiple systems that serve CSEC to educate policymakers on the complexities and challenges of protecting and serving sexually exploited youth.  Continue reading

Action Alert: Your Senator can support sexually exploited youth

Dear WestCoast Community,

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month. For commercially sexually exploited youth, these issues are combined. The WestCoast approach to raising awareness is to combine knowledge with action and advocacy. This week we’ll be in Sacramento to urge legislators to pass a bill that WestCoast and other advocates have crafted: SB 738: Sexually Exploited and Trafficked Minors.  Continue reading

New Report Highlights Solutions to California’s Child Sex Trafficking Problem

Dear WestCoast Community,

As part of our ongoing efforts to improve the services, systems and public policies that impact the lives of commercially sexually exploited children (CSEC), WestCoast has been participating as a member of the California Child Welfare Council’s Commercially Sexually Exploited Children Workgroup. The workgroup’s final product, the report described below, will be presented to the full Council next Wednesday, March 6th. Continue reading