Shared Hope International’s research, four of the ten locations
assessed had “no specific protocol for identifying minors involved in
commercial sexual activities.189 In those locations that did have a
specific identification procedure, it encompassed only one or two
agencies while the larger community remained unaware, uninformed,
and largely uninvolved in identification of the victims.”190
Despite New York’s Safe Harbor law that provides for the
training of child protective workers, “workers at agencies outside of
child protective services are still not trained to identify sex trafficking
of minors when it exists.”191 These “outside” entities include
government agencies, such as the Department of Homeless Services,
the Department of Youth and Community Development, the
Department of Education, as well as hospitals and foster care
families.192 All states must establish both inter-agency and intra-
agency training on identification of domestic minor sex trafficking
victims because a majority of sex trafficking cases will involve
several different agencies and jurisdictions.193
iv. Victim protection and services
Lastly, Shared Hope International identifies state policy
providing protection, access to services, and shelter for victims as an
essential component for adequately combating domestic minor sex
trafficking.194 The plight of domestic minor sex trafficking victims is
unique. These child victims suffer from both external threats of force
from traffickers and those associated with the sex trafficking
operation, as well as internal forces, including drug addiction and
trauma bonds.195 As a result, most trafficked minors often flee non-
protective shelters.196 In addition, traffickers regularly frequent
“shelters or the neighborhoods where the shelters are located, in
189 These four locations were: Fort Worth, Texas; New Orleans/Baton Rouge,
Louisiana; San Antonio, Texas; and Clearwater, Florida. See SMITH ET AL., supra
note 12, at 45 n.136.
190 See id. at 45.
193 See id.
195 See id. at 58.
196 Id. at 67.