No Wrong Door: Help for sexually exploited youth

The No Wrong Door initiative aims to remove shame and blame from the way Hennepin County interacts with youth who have been, or are at risk of being sexually exploited. A broad philosophy of treating this group of young people as victims and survivors of sexual abuse rather than as offenders influences practices across county lines of business, including public health, hospitals and clinics, children’s mental health, homelessness and housing, child welfare and child protection, law enforcement and juvenile corrections, prosecution and the public defender.

In 2014, the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners approved a plan to identify, protect and help to heal sexually exploited youth; to prosecute traffickers, pimps and purchasers; and to prevent sexual exploitation of youth. The county’s work aligns with the state’s Safe Harbor Legislation and No Wrong Door model.

It is difficult to estimate the number of sexually exploited youth in Minnesota or nationwide. Hennepin County staff who interact with youth have pointed to a growing need for services and support tailored to sexually exploited youth.

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Survivors' voices

Youth and adult survivors of sexual exploitation share their stories in “The Voices of Safe Harbor: Survivor and Youth Input for Minnesota’s Model Protocol on Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Youth.”

A collaborative effort by the Hennepin County No Wrong Door Initiative, Paula Schaefer & Associates, the Sexual Violence Justice Institute at the Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MNCASA), and Ramsey County Attorney’s Office, the report aims to inform the community’s and practitioners’ response to exploitation.

The Voices of Safe Harbor (PDF)

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