We give people and groups the tools they need to prevent trafficking, to identify and respond appropriately to survivors, and to engage in demand reduction.
We influence policy and legislation on the municipal, state, and federal level.
We support the restoration of human trafficking victims by identifying existing gaps in services and working to fill them.
Everyone needs to be aware of potential trafficking situations and know how to respond. But there are some organizations more likely to come in contact with a victim than others.
We've identified those organizations and we are helping to equip them to recognize and properly respond to trafficking. First, we honor them for being a vital part of our community. Secondly, we serve them in a variety of ways which may include offering specialized training to prepare them to identify and respond to a trafficking victim, educating them on the issue, supplying or posting legally required signage, or helping them develop organizational protocol for response. Other times we serve them by coming alongside and supporting them in their mission, as we are doing with foster care.
We have Team Leads for a variety of areas and plan to expand. See the areas below and why they play an important role in combatting trafficking.
In 2015, NC law required public schools to teach human trafficking prevention information in health classes.
According to Polaris Project, more than 80% of victims sought treatment from a medical professional while they were being trafficked
Government departments (such as the Procurement Dept, Parks and Rec or the Police Dept) may each see victims and need specialized training specific to the areas they serve.
60% of child trafficking victims had some interaction with foster care.
Traffickers often brand their victims. If a tattoo artist knows the signs, he or she may be able to respond.
Transactions often happen in hotels. Front desk and cleaning staff are well positioned to identify them.
NC has recognized ABC stores as place where victims may present; ABC stores are required to post signage for identifying red flags.
Survivors have said that one of the only places they were able to be away from their trafficker was in a convenience store bathroom. Putting up the hotline number in each stall could save a life.
Anyone who serves others is well- positioned to identify a vulnerable individual and respond. Learn more about our Service Group & Faith Alliance.
Some traffickers are now using apartment complexes for transactions. Or, traffickers may house their victims in an apartment.
Traffickers may use public transportation systems to transport victims or they may look for vulnerable runaways at hubs. Truckers are the eyes of the highways and can notify authorities of trafficking situations.
Victims may be in the corrections systems for crimes association with their victimization, but not recognized as victims. Victims are also being recruited in jails by potential traffickers. Judges, corrections staff, and parole officers all have a role they can play.
Shield NC works with community organizations and establishments to create internal policies and protocols to identify and respond appropriately to trafficking scenarios. We also advocate on a municipal, state and federal level for legislation that creates harsher penalties for buyers and sellers, and better protection for victims of exploitation.
Child pornography survivors can seek restitution from the producers of their child abuse material. However, children who have their material “go viral” may experience ongoing trauma past the initial abuse of the production of that material.
Federal law makers created an avenue for survivors to seek restitution from the perpetrators who were convicted for the consumption of the child abuse material through the passage of the Amy, Vicky, Andy Child Pornography Victims Act.
Unfortunately, in North Carolina there is no legal avenue for child pornography survivors to receive restitution from perpetrators who are prosecuted at the state level. Shield NC is working hard to remedy this injustice by advocating that NC pass legislation that mirrors the Amy, Vicky, Andy Child Pornography Victims Act.
Our founder, Nicole Bernard and Shield NC collaborator, Erin Wallin, were invited to meet with top White House staff to discuss their strategy to combat the child pornography problem in America.
Nicole Bernard, Niki Miller and SBI Special Agent in Charge Carl Wall had several meetings with NC Congressmen and the Lieutenant Governor's office to advocate for NC agencies that combat human trafficking.
On May 8, 2019, Nicole Bernard and SBI Special Agent in Charge Carl Wall stood before the Apex Town Council and urged them to pass a resolution ensuring that all Town of Apex contracts with vendors include wording that assures the Town that no workers employed either directly or indirectly by that vendor is being trafficked. With unanimous approval from the Council, Mayor Lance Olive, a Shield NC board member, happily signed the resolution. Mayor Lance Olive has also publicly encouraged other municipalities to follow Apex's example and has made himself available to assist in their doing so.
There has long been a great need for more direct services for survivors of human trafficking in North Carolina. It seems that the cry for help has gotten more desperate over the past year. Shield is exploring ways to fill that gap and to meet the needs of survivors. Unfortunately, due to the level of trauma the survivor has endured, the healing process can be a long bumpy road. Survivors require a safe place to live, food, clothing, medical and mental health treatment. Often they will need substance abuse treatment, dental services, life skills training, social services and lots of unconditional love and support. Would you be interested in volunteering your time or services to help these survivors heal? If you have a desire to attend a human trafficking training session and begin to learn how you could help. Please contact us. We'd love to speak with you!
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