Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $750,000)
The Ventura County Human Trafficking Task Force (VCHTTF), which was established in 2019, is co-led by the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office (law enforcement applicant) and Interface Children & Family Services (victim services provider applicant). The task force works closely to address human trafficking (sex and labor) throughout Ventura County, which is located in southern California. During the last three (3) years, the VCHTTF has conducted sixty-seven (67) human trafficking investigations, conducted forty (40) human trafficking prosecutions, and provided services to one hundred seven (107) human trafficking victims. The requested grants in the amount of $750,000 for the law enforcement applicant and $750,000 for the victim services provider applicant will expand and enhance the Ventura County Human Trafficking Task Force, as well as enhance the ability of the task force to identify, investigate, and prosecute all types of human traffickers in Ventura County and related cases across California and the nation. It will also enhance the ability of the task force’s victim services providers to continue to provide comprehensive, intensive, coordinated, and integrated services for human trafficking (sex and labor) victims -- all services are provided in a trauma-informed, victim-centered, and culturally affirming manner. While all human trafficking (sex and labor) victims are served, the majority of victims, to date, are adult women of Hispanic and Asian-American/Pacific Islander descent. The overall goal of the proposed project is to expand the existing co-led, multidisciplinary, and sustainable task force and enhance the identification of human trafficking (sex and labor) victims, provide identified victims with access to high-quality services, and investigate/prosecute human traffickers at the appropriate level -- local, state, and/or federal. To accomplish this goal, the task force will: 1) enhance, sustain, and strengthen the co-leadership structure and coordination of the VCHTTF using the Multidisciplinary Collaborative Model for Anti-Human Trafficking Task Forces: Development and Operations Roadmap as a guide; 2) revise VCHTTF protocols; 3) continue to identify and serve human trafficking (sex and labor) victims; 4) enhance the provision of trauma-informed, victim-centered, and culturally affirming services and collaborative approaches by developing and consistently implementing VCHTTF protocols and training; 5) continue to investigate and prosecute human traffickers; 6) assist human trafficking (sex and labor) victims achieve safety, independence, self-sufficiency, and well-being through appropriate services; and 7) conduct ongoing assessment to ascertain achievement of project-related goals and objectives. The Ventura County Human Trafficking Task Force seeks priority consideration -- Priority 1(A).