Human Trafficking



Trauma is the result of extraordinarily stressful events that shatter your sense of security, making you feel helpless in a dangerous world. Traumatic experiences often involve a threat to life but any situation that leaves you feeling overwhelmed can be traumatic, even if it doesn’t involve physical harm.

One way someone can experience trauma can be through human trafficking. Human trafficking consists of one person or group of people benefiting from another person, through fraud, coercion, and/or force.


Click Here  for the YWCA Silicon Valley After Human Trafficking & Trauma Recovery Guide


Cases that are considered severe forms of trafficking in persons involve three elements:

  1. ACTION. This may be the recruiting, harboring, transporting, providing, or obtaining of an individual. Additional actions that constitute sex trafficking, but not labor trafficking, include patronizing, soliciting, and advertising an individual.
  1. MEANS OF FORCE, FRAUD, OR COERCION. Examples of force include physical abuse or assault, sexual abuse or assault, or confinement. Examples of fraud include false promises of work/living conditions, withholding promised wages, or contract fraud. Coercion may include threats of harm to self or others, debt bondage, psychological manipulation, or document confiscation.
  1. FOR A SPECIFIC PURPOSE. Either via compelled labor, services, or commercial sex act(s).

*In sex trafficking cases involving children under the age of 18, it is not necessary to demonstrate force, fraud, or coercion.


Some survivors of human trafficking have been taken advantage of in two general methods: through labor or sexual activity. This can include sexual acts performed without consent, forced work, or commercial sexual exploitation for the benefit of the trafficker or others.

*For more information about California’s definitions, check California Penal Code Section 236-237.



  • Be believed.
  • Be given the same credibility as any other crime victim.
  • Seek help.
  • Courteous, efficient treatment.
  • Be treated with dignity and respect, without prejudice against race, ethnicity, class, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, or occupation.
  • Comprehensive, accurate information, presented in a way that they can understand.
  • Ask questions.
  • Make your own decisions.
  • Change their mind and be in control of their healing process, whatever that may look like.
  • Have help and support from others.
  • Heal from their trauma at their own pace.
  • Get paid for your work (at least minimum wage).
  • Choose your occupation.
  • Change your employment.


Education & Outreach CSEC Services

The Education & Outreach team offers prevention education services to schools, youth-serving agencies, community organizations, colleges/universities, business, and social services agencies. Education programs are designed for youth, adults, caregivers, and professionals to increase awareness about child sexual exploitation. Our programs dispel myths about sexual and domestic violence, promote healthy relationships, examine traditional gender roles and how they relate to violence, inform individuals of YWCA services, and explore how each of us can become empowered to end violence in Santa Clara County.


Presentations and workshop series can be customized to the client’s specific needs. To make sure we can best accommodate your request, please contact us to schedule a presentation or workshop series at least 3 weeks in advance of your planned date. For more information or to schedule a presentation, connect with the Education & Outreach team at 408.649.7707 x 3611   or e-mail at

Commercial Sexual Exploited Children (CSEC)

According to California Child Welfare Council, it is estimated that a trafficker may earn as much as $650,000 in a year by exploiting as few as four children. California’s nine human trafficking task forces identified 1,277 victims, 72% of whom were from the United States. Evidence shows that the average age of entry into the commercial sex trade is as young as 12. Organizations are responding to this information by engaging youth through education at younger ages through school-based approaches. 1



During the CSEC presentations or workshop series, participants will learn to identify risk factors, forms of child sexual exploitat

ion (CSE), behavioral and social impacts, and how to respond when interacting with at-risk youth. There will be time for Q&A with YWCA Silicon Valley staff directly following the presentation to answer any additional questions or concerns. Our CSEC presentation is approximately 60 minutes and is best suited for groups of 15 – 30 attendees.


Youth (for students in grades 9 – 12)

According to Polaris, in 2016, there were 402 sex trafficking cases involving minors that were reported in California. 2 In our youth presentations and workshop series we teach youth in an engaging and age-appropriate way about the realities when using social media, healthy relationships, consent vs coercion, sexual assault, human trafficking, teen dating violence, and gender socialization, while also promoting healthy communication skills. Youth presentations and workshop series encourage young people to stand up and speak out as allies against harassment, dating violence, and sexual abuse.


Professionals and Community

Human Trafficking is an unseen reality, our homes and communities are filled with products made by victims (clothes, food, laptops etc.). Approximately 15,000 people are being trafficked each year right here in the U.S. for purposes of forced labor or sexual exploitation.3 By engaging in anti-human trafficking presentations and workshop series, participants are taking part in raising awareness to stop exploitation in our community. Professional and community presentations and workshop series are tailored for educators, service providers, social workers, and community members that want to gain more knowledge.

Download our workshop menu here

For other presentations and workshop series not listed, such as CSEC 102 and series options, please request information with the Education & Outreach team at 408.649.7707 x 3611  or e-mail at

Parent: CSEC Workshop Series

In San Francisco Bay Area, over 75% of the 113 youth studied by WestCoast Children’s Clinic, described experiencing child abuse and neglect prior to their commercial sexual exploitation. Experts estimate that approximately 90% of child sexual abuse perpetrators are somebody the child knows – it isn’t enough to teach stranger danger. Offenders may be authority figures, friends of the family, or even family members. Young victims often feel a sense of complicity or are afraid to tell someone and offenders use this fear to intimidate children into keeping quiet about abusive incidents.


During the Parent CSEC Series presentation, we help parents learn the facts and steps they can take to protect our children and minimize risk in our communities. These presentations will cover statistics, definitions and indicators of child sexual abuse, risk reduction techniques we can implement, and ways we can respond to disclosures from children if they should arise. There will be time for Q&A with YWCA Silicon Valley staff directly following the presentation to answer any additional questions or concerns. Our CSEC Parent Series presentations are approximately 60 minutes and is best suited for groups of 15 – 30 attendees.


      • CSEC Parent Session 1: How To Identify If Your Child Is At Risk (CSEC 101)
      • CSEC Parent Session 2: Child Sexual Abuse Prevention (5 tools keeping your child safe)
      • CSEC Parent Session 3: How To Communicate With Your Child