Sex Trafficking Continues in Tucson Despite Squeezed Resources | Subscriber

“We use an evidence-based model that tells them the story while minimizing their trauma,” Fordnoy said of the center’s maintenance process. “When you provide these services at an advocacy center, research shows that the victim is more likely to get follow-up medical care and follow-up mental health services. “

Another member of the collaboration is Mercy Care, a local nonprofit health plan run by Medicaid.

“Children in foster care have a higher risk of becoming victims of trafficking, and through our partnership with the Ministry of Child Safety, we are responsible for the health and well-being of these kids statewide, ”Amber Divens, manager of the Mercy Care Project, who works with the Southern Arizona Human Trafficking Collaborative, said in an email to The Star.

“We want to make sure that young people who have been trafficked have immediate access to the physical and mental health care services they need.

Address the root cause

While Crawford was clear that southern Arizona still sees confirmed cases of sex trafficking, sex worker advocates say the issue has been exaggerated in recent years as a way to end the proposed decriminalization of the sex worker. sex work.

“The anti-trafficking rhetoric is very powerful and compelling. Who is not against anyone who is forced into some form of labor, especially sex work? Said Juliana Piccillo of the Sex Workers Outreach Project in Tucson. “No one wants to be labeled pro-sex trafficking, but evidence-based research has shown that decriminalizing sex work will reduce the damage.”