U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Keeping Girls Safe: Unbound's Prevention & Early Intervention Program

Award Information

Awardee
Award #
15POVC-22-GG-03751-GIRL
Location
Awardee County
McLennan
Congressional District
Status
Open
Funding First Awarded
2022
Total funding (to date)
$500,000

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $500,000)

Unbound’s Early Intervention Program will enhance prevention and early intervention services for girls who are at risk or are victims of sex trafficking, through the employment of Early Intervention Specialists (EIS) at Unbound’s offices in BCS, Austin, Waco, and Houston, Texas. This project will serve the areas surrounding four of Unbound’s locations in Texas: Austin (Travis, Bastrop, Hays, Williamson Counties - 2,170,291 population, 2020 U.S. Census), Houston (Brazoria, Galveston, Harris Counties - 5,436,807 population, 2020 U.S. Census), Waco (Bosque, Falls, Freestone, Hill, Limestone and McLennan Counties - 368,971 population, 2020 U.S. Census), Bryan/College Station (BCS) (Brazos County - 226,370 population, 2020 U.S.

Census). Project staff across locations will serve girls under the age of 18 who are at high risk of sex trafficking or sexual exploitation.Unbound reduces criminalization of minor survivors of human trafficking through identification of survivors within the juvenile justice system, trauma-informed and evidence-based services, and enhanced collaboration with law enforcement through soft interview rooms and victim services. Unbound is uniquely placed with qualified staff to facilitate this strategy of reduced criminalization in North and Central Texas, which means that victims in both urban and rural areas receive victim-centered and evidence-based services and identification-focused outreach. Additionally, our staff are trained to provide culturally responsive services to BIPOC and LGBTQ+ survivors, who are historically underserved in the anti-trafficking service infrastructure, thus fitting priority area A (promoting racial equity and removing barriers to access for communities that have been historically underserved). Unbound’s continuum of services to reduce criminalization begins with the implementation of outreach campaigns within the Scott G. Moore Juvenile Justice Center in North Texas and the Bill Logue Juvenile Justice Center in Central Texas. Research shows that involvement in juvenile justice systems is highly correlated with sex trafficking, and minor victims of trafficking are unlikely to self-identify. Therefore, this outreach will build trust-based relationships with Unbound staff who facilitate outreach that creates opportunities for youth to consider their experiences and potentially disclose victimization, which allows Unbound’s trained advocates to work with them as they recover from the trauma of trafficking.

Date Created: September 27, 2022