Project REACH

The Trauma Center’s National Anti-Human Trafficking Program

Project REACH is a national anti-trafficking program that focuses on the traumatic impact of human trafficking and the development of trauma-informed services for survivors. Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery. Traffickers target vulnerable members of our society and use force, fraud, or coercion in order to financially benefit from them. These vulnerabilities may include age, socio-economic status, nationality, gender, lack of educational and work opportunities, unstable home life, and history of trauma, among others.

Project REACH offers consultation, trauma focused psychological evaluations, and brief mental health services to trafficking victims throughout the United States. We also provide trainings and technical assistance to cross-discipline professionals fighting against human trafficking. The program has been in operation since 2003 and has served hundreds of survivors of sex and labor trafficking.

Our Team

Project REACH is comprised of a group of psychologists and mental health specialists dedicated to the understanding and treatment of trauma. Our team includes bicultural and bilingual clinicians, and our team members specialize in the following:

  • Complex trauma and its developmental impact
  • Psychological elements of coercion
  • Trauma bonding
  • Body-based interventions designed to increase regulation, restore agency, and build competency
  • Education about trauma-informed services
  • Development of trauma-informed psychosocial interventions

Our Work

Trainings

We have provided hundreds of trainings on human trafficking and trauma throughout the U.S. We offer both webinars and in-person trainings. We custom-design trainings to meet the specific needs of requesting agencies or organizations. Some of our training topics include:

  • Human Trafficking 101
  • Invisible Chains: Forms of Coercion in Human Trafficking
  • Chronic Adversity, Polyvictimization, and Human Trafficking
  • Trauma Bonding in Human Trafficking
  • After Exiting: Understanding the Impact of Exploitation on Mental Health
  • Cultural Variability in Trauma Reactions
  • Special Populations (Trafficked Youth, Males, GLBTQ+ Identified Survivors)
  • Established Trauma-Informed Service Settings
  • Cultural Adaptations in Addressing the Psychosocial Needs of Trafficking Survivors
  • Trauma Sensitive Interviewing Techniques
  • Traumatic Re-enactments: Establishing Trust and Creating Safe Boundaries
  • Addressing Dissociation in Trafficking Survivors
  • Working with Trafficking Survivors with Substance Abuse and Severe Mental Illness
  • Relational Impacts of Trafficking and Building Healthier Relationships
  • Culturally Adapted Interventions
  • Resilience, Empowerment, Healing, Transformation, and Leadership
  • The Multimodal Social Ecological (MSE) Framework for Intervention with Trafficking Survivors
  • Somatic Interventions for Trafficking Survivors
  • Dyadic and Family Therapy with Survivors of Human Trafficking
  • The Intergenerational Transmission of Trauma and Parenting
  • Impacts on Providers: Vicarious Trauma and Self-Care

Direct Client Services

We offer brief mental health intervention with survivors of human trafficking. We serve all survivors of human trafficking, including survivors of any age or gender orientation who have experienced labor and/or sex trafficking.

  • We are available to conduct psychosocial needs assessments with human trafficking survivors, addressing each person’s unique needs. Our trauma specialists provide psycho-education and work with survivors on development of coping and affect regulation skills. We offer individual and group experiential interventions, including somatic interventions for trafficking survivors.
  • We are available to conduct trauma-focused psychological evaluations of human trafficking survivors. These evaluations may be used to develop service plans for clients. They may also be used within the legal arena; for instance, they may be used as supplementary information within immigration relief applications, documenting the psychological impact of the trafficking experience.
  • Project REACH also provides case consultation to local providers regarding individuals who have been trafficked, offering expertise on trauma and mental health to local providers, and working with providers to address challenges and barriers.

National Anti-Trafficking Mental Health Provider Network

Project REACH is developing a network of mental health providers throughout the U.S. who are engaged in anti-trafficking work to share information, offer support, and to identify promising practices. The network includes:

  • A listserve offering a forum for discussion, sharing of resources, and problem solving for service professionals who work in the fields of mental health and human trafficking
  • Conference calls designed to reflect on best practices for addressing the mental health needs of trafficking survivors
  • Trainings on topics raised by network members

Project REACH Resources:

Project REACH Articles

Sample Trainings

Click Here to listen to Dr. Naomi Azar's webinar on understanding the physiology of trauma, and ways to incorporate that understanding when working with individuals who have experienced human trafficking.

Click Here to listen to Dr. Elizabeth Hopper's webinar on Legal Representation with Trafficking Survivors and Other Clients with Cognitive Disabilities or Mental Illness.

Click Here to listen to Dr. Elizabeth Hopper's webinar on Complex Trauma and Human Trafficking.

Click Here and register with the National Child Traumatic Stress Network to listen to Dr. Sujata Swaroop’s webinar on The Impact of Polyvictimization in Survivors of Human Trafficking.

Other Resources:

The National Human Trafficking Hotline
1-888-373-7888

The National Conference of State Legislators

The Office for Victims of Crime, Department of Justice

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network

HEAL Trafficking

IOM’s Report on Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Children

Click Here for the Human Trafficking Task Force e-Guide

Contact Us:

For more information, or to request consultation, direct service, or training, please contact Dr. Elizabeth Hopper at (617) 232-1303, x2011, or ehopper@jri.org.

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