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- 40% of victims of domestic human trafficking for sexual exploitation in Canada are under the age of 18.
- Family Services of Greater Vancouver (FSGV) is a national leader in providing supports for victims and survivors of exploitation and human trafficking.
- FSGV supports some of the region’s most vulnerable young people at risk for exploitation.
- As a partner to the Vancouver Police Department, New Westminster Police Department and RCMP, FSGV leads critical support work for the wellbeing of victims.
Family Services of Greater Vancouver (FSGV) has launched Un\Interrupted, an educational campaign commemorating Victims and Survivors of Crime Week (May 14-20). The campaign calls attention to the prevalence of exploitation and human trafficking among Canada’s youth and will culminate in the webinar Un\interrupted: Working with Exploited Youth, taking place tomorrow (Tuesday, May 30).
Across Canada, 40% of victims of domestic human trafficking for sexual exploitation are under the age of 18 – and the impacts are devastating. FSGV works with some of the region’s most vulnerable young people at multiple touchpoints. Not only does the organization support victims and survivors of exploitation through its Victim Services program, it also interacts with some of the most at-risk youth in the region through Directions Youth Services.
Many of the young people accessing Directions are victims of abuse and neglect, unhoused or precariously housed, experiencing poverty, struggling with addiction, or marginalized for their race, gender or cognitive impairments. When victims of exploitation come forward, FSGV helps them navigate the criminal justice system, promote mental and emotional wellbeing and assist with safety planning; the organization also connects victims to FSGV trauma counselling programs and supports with Crime Victim Assistance Program (CVAP) applications for financial aid.
“As a society, we are responsible for the health and wellbeing, as well as the future, of our children and youth,” said Brenda Lochhead, victim support worker, FSGV. “It is our responsibility to ensure they live a life uninterrupted by violence. This work can look different for every victim – it might mean responding to texts at 3am, filling out applications, or mentally preparing for a court case. Every youth has value, and they want to be seen and heard. Are we looking? Are we listening?”
“We serve youth in crisis at multiple points along the continuum of care,” said Maria Howard, CEO, FSGV. “Our trauma counsellors often deal with cases where people have a combination of needs, such as mental health, addictions, or legal issues. The depth of their knowledge is crucial to helping young people carve a path forward and rebuild their lives.”
Un/interrupted focuses on prevention and early intervention, with the goal of elevating the rights of children and youth to enjoy a life uninterrupted by exploitation, trafficking and violence. Tuesday, May 30 from 12-1pm PST – FSGV will host the webinar Un\interrupted: Working with Exploited Youth, a one-hour discussion and Q&A about the issues impacting at-risk youth; what parents, educators and healthcare professionals can do; and how FSGV supports young people throughout their journey towards a better life.
The webinar is free and open to the public; advance online registration is required by visiting https://fsgv.ca/webinar.
For more information, visit www.fsgv.ca
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