In 2019, I presented a full-day training for human trafficking and sexual violence advocates across the state called “Reframing Human Trafficking Prevention.” In this training, I spent the morning giving them an intensive overview of the public health model of violence prevention. After lunch, we dove into principles of harm reduction and the idea that we need to be conscious of any harm that our interventions cause while considering their impact. We closed this training by finding existing human trafficking “prevention” resources — web pages, handouts, lessons — and having them assess in small groups what public health prevention strategies they could identify, whether or not the resource was actually “prevention,” and what adaptations they might make to align this strategy (if they’d still want to use it) with a public health approach to trafficking prevention.
After seeing how well this training was received and how grateful the attendees were for receiving such powerful and practical information, I began putting together this toolkit as an accompanying document. It includes information about what a public health approach is, historical influences, how to identify root causes, how to engage survivor voices, and how to incorporate a harm reduction lens into your anti-trafficking work.