Law | National

Mary Annette Pember: Program helps Native victims of trafficking

A dancer at the Seafair Indian Days Pow Wow in Seattle, Washington. Photo: Joe Mabel

The Seattle Indian Center has secured a $450,000 grant to establish Project Beacon to help Native victims of sex trafficking. Independent journalist Mary Annette Pember has more on a unique initiative whose future could be threatened by the Trump administration:
The Seattle Indian Center, serving the Seattle Native population since 1972, will now offer services especially designed to help victims of sex trafficking.

According to Marissa Perez, Program Manager at the Center, Project Beacon is a three-year program that will serve Native American victims of commercial sex exploitation and trafficking regardless of age or gender. Project Beacon is funded by a $450,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Victim’s Services.

“Native people are especially vulnerable to human trafficking and other forms of exploitation,” according to Perez.

She noted that local research by the International Rescue Committee found that nearly 25 percent of domestic sex trafficking victims identify as Native American or Alaska Native and that the city of Seattle has been identified as one of the 20 top cities reporting human trafficking cases.

Read More on the Story:
Mary Annette Pember: A Beacon of Hope for Victims of Sex Trafficking in Seattle (Indian Country Media Network 5/8)