the social workers and others doing placement.”213 Another obstacle
to accessing services arises when a young adult reaches eighteen,
when the only access option for support services is self-referral.214 If
a child victim has avoided arrest for her entire youth, she lacks a
“path to service referral”215 after she turns eighteen years old. Thus,
New York fails to effectively implement a formal and organized
referral process outside of the judicial system to ensure that all
victims have equal access to services.
Due to the high number of child victims in the New York City
area, most of the services and shelters are located in New York City
and the surrounding boroughs.216 In New York City, there are
residence facilities as well as outpatient service facilities.217 Many of
these shelters and services provide the “holistic approach” ( i.e.,
treatment of the whole person) and aim to treat child victims by
considering the trauma bonds and physical necessities that are unique
to this population.218 New York City has only fifty residential beds
for female child victims,219 but the population in need of services is
in the thousands.220 It has been noted that:
[T]his shortage of housing options for trafficked youth
. . . [is] the most pressing need of service providers in
the field . . . . [L]ack of funding [is] seen as the main
challenge to increasing available beds – though others
also noted a lack of political and public will to get the
In addition to the severe shortage of housing options for child
victims, the safety and security of the residential facilities is
214 Id. at 12.
216 HINES & HOCHMAN, supra note 129, at 12.
219 Id. at v.
221 Id. at 14-15.