Community agencies hope a directory will help victims of human trafficking
Executive directors and managers of more than 50 different agencies gather to establish gaps that need filling
A community directory will help link human trafficking victims with the services they need to help heal.
The directory will be available in early spring, and is being funded through a grant from the province.
It's being spearheaded by Marisa Thorburn, the manager of victims' services at London police.
"There's a lot of funding that's been made available to services that help people that are being trafficked. We need to start talking to each other," Thorburn said.
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On Thursday, the executive directors and managers of more than 50 community agencies will gather to talk about what should be included in the directory.
"We will talk about what services we can offer, what the gaps are, and how we can come together as a community to fill those gaps," said Thorburn. "The idea is that we will need all the community partners to cover a wide range of aspects for these victims."
Last month, the same community partners, alongside justice officials and police officers, received trauma-informed training on how best to deal with victims of human trafficking.
This week's group discussion is a continuation of that, Thorburn said.
"There are a lot of different agencies and we need to talk about how to work better together," she said.
Women rescued from sex trafficking have been living out of hotel rooms, being sexually assaulted multiple times a day. They may not even know what community they're in when they're rescued.
They need everything to cover their basic needs such as toiletries and food, a place to shower, a way to get around, and counselling.
It's important that police officers and others know where to go for all those services so resources are being used as best they can be, Thorburn said.
The community directory will be used by the agencies and police officers.