Human Trafficking Services

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Labor and Sex Trafficking Prevention

Friends of the Family for survivors of labor trafficking and sex trafficking, and we provide a variety of comprehensive services throughout our 14 county service area to aid survivors.

Friends of the Family offers Human Trafficking services to residents of 14 counties:

Allamakee - Benton - Black Hawk - Bremer - Buchanan - Chickasaw - Clayton

Delaware - Dubuque - Fayette - Howard - Jones - Linn -Winneshiek

Our Human Trafficking Services Include:

  • 24/7 crisis hotline for information, safety planning and resources
  • 24/7 access to FOF emergency shelter
  • Case management and community advocacy
  • Relocation and family reunification support
  • Crisis housing assistance
  • Referrals to services for mental health counseling, food assistance and more
  • Training and technical assistance for allied partners that include law enforcement, faith communities and mental health professionals

These services are available to victims who are forced into sexual exploitation or workers being exploited for a variety of reasons. These issues are more prevalent in Iowa than you think, and if you believe you have information regarding someone being exploited for sex or labor, contact your local law enforcement immediately.

What is Sex Trafficking?

Sex Trafficking occurs when someone uses force, fraud or coercion to cause a commercial sex act with an adult or minor. These acts can include:

  • Prostitution
  • Pornography
  • Sexual performance in exchange for money, drugs, shelter, food or clothing.

At any given point, there are 300 people in Iowa for sale for various forms of sexual exploitation. Run away children are put at an even higher risk, and there are, on average, an additional 300 run-away children in Iowa each month. Individuals under the age of 18 are at the highest risk. According to the Iowa Department of Public Safety:

  • 83% of trafficked children have a history of being a run-away
  • 45% of trafficking victims have substance abuse issues
  • 63% of victims have had trouble staying in school
  • 64% are actively, or have been, on probation
  • 71% of girls who have been identified as victims of sex trafficking, or are at risk of becoming victims, are age 18 or younger

What is Labor Trafficking?

Labor trafficking is made up of a variety of exploitations, including:

  • Child labor
  • Involuntary domestic servitude
  • Child soldiers
  • Bonded labor

Because Iowa’s economy is so dependent on agriculture and factory production, labor trafficking has been a prevalent issue. Often, victims of labor trafficking are immigrants who are in search of a better life for their family, but they are forced into jobs with terrible working conditions and very low pay. Often times, they work 16 to 20 hours a day with few breaks.