The ASU College of Public Service and Community Solutions hosted a presentation on sex trafficking featuring Mattieu Clouvel, Deputy Consul General of France in Los Angeles.
Clouvel highlighted what his country is doing to combat sex trafficking and what Americans can learn from it. He also listened to professionals and researchers from Arizona about their work on the issue.
The 35 people in attendance represented police, mental health professionals, attorneys, the ASU School of Social Work and the Office of Sex Trafficking Intervention Research.
“The goal was to highlight the scope of the work that is done for sex trafficking victims in our community from advocacy to awareness building to law enforcement intervention, legal representation and clinical services to help in the process,” said social work associate professor Dominique Roe-Sepowitz, director of the Office of Sex Trafficking Intervention Research.
Discussion included the amount of sex trafficking that goes undetected, how to identify likely offenders and what can be done to help victims.
“It is important to educate the community about this issue because there continues to be massive misunderstanding about what it really is,” said Roe-Sepowitz.
Roe-Sepowitz said that like other misunderstood issues, such as domestic violence or child abuse, sex trafficking does not target a specific race, ethnicity or gender. That is part of the reason why it can be difficult to identify.