Safe Harbor, Sex Trafficking, and Sexually Exploited Youth
For the first time, Minnesota youth who engage in prostitution are viewed as victims and survivors, not criminals. They will be treated with dignity and respect and directed to supportive services, and shelter and housing that meet their needs and recognize their right to make their own choices. Sexual exploitation of youth in Minnesota is commonly overlooked, misidentified as something else, and undocumented.
As part of Minnesota's Safe Harbor Law and No Wrong Door model, each region of the state has a Regional Navigator for the main points of contact for sexually exploited youth and concerned agencies throughout Minnesota. Navigators are responsible for connecting youth with services and serving as regional experts for communities. Youth, educators, service providers, law enforcement, and community members are encouraged to contact the navigator in your area if you are working with a young person who may be sexually exploited or to be connected with training to learn more about the sexual exploitation of youth.
Victim Services of Olmsted County is the base program for the Southeast MN Regional Navigator. Additionally, we have a prevention specialist/volunteer coordinator staff to provide training, prevention programming, and further assistance with protocol development and implementation.
To learn more about Safe Harbor, please visit:
- State of MN Department of Health: Safe Harbor
- The Advocates for Human Rights: Safe Harbor Resource Pack
What can our Safe Harbor Staff do for you?
- Training: Our staff are available to offer training specialized for professionals by discipline or to community groups.
- Consultation: Professionals working with sexually exploited youth or trafficking victims can contact our office for advice, referrals, and other assistance.
- Case Management: Our regional navigator is available to work directly with domestic minor sex trafficking victims in our 12-county area.
- Outreach: Our staff and volunteers are available to help with spreading word about sex trafficking, safe harbor, and services here in Southeastern Minnesota.
- Community Groups: To address sex trafficking, everyone needs to work together. Our staff are able to assist community members with organizing groups to locally raise awareness, advocate for resources, and provide education and prevention.
- Protocol Development: As a part of the Safe Harbor Program model protocols have been issued by the state. We are available to help agencies adapt and implement these protocols.
- Prevention: Sex trafficking is preventable! Please visit our prevention page to learn more about the many effective prevention programs we offer.
- Andrea White, Safe Harbor Regional Navigator