Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service (MVLS) and our partners at the Human Trafficking Prevention Project (HTPP) are celebrating Human Trafficking Awareness Month this January with activities and events from Western Maryland to the Eastern Shore!
Funding from the Department of Justice’s Office of Victims of Crime supported growth of HTPP and MVLS programing throughout 2023, creating the capacity for robust outreach and training – with particular focus on underserved areas in Western and Southern Maryland, as well as the Eastern Shore. This January we will be traveling the state for anti-trafficking events, including:
- Hosting a Free HTPP & MVLS Training at Allegany College in Cumberland – In-person training on “Human Trafficking and the Law: Combatting Misinformation, Aiding in Prevention, and Helping Survivors Heal,” from 9am-1pm on January 12th (Register here!)
- The 4th Annual Anti-Human Trafficking Awareness Conference at Salisbury University – The HTPP & MVLS will be tabling and networking on the Eastern Shore on January 12th
- Prince George’s County Human Trafficking Task Force’s January Meeting – The HTPP & MVLS will train local service providers about survivors’ legal needs and how to refer for program services on January 23rd
- The Frederick Human Trafficking Response Team’s 4th Annual Summit – The HTPP & MVLS will present on legal challenges facing survivors, including criminal record relief, credit repair, and family disputes, among other legal issues, on January 26th
Direct engagement in communities across Maryland – through regional trainings, participation in community events, and legal clinics with partner organizations – is a critical component to the Human Trafficking Prevention Project’s service model of providing holistic, client-centered legal services. Accessing legal help can be a challenge for many of our HTPP and MVLS clients, particularly when trafficking survivors or other individuals put at increased risk of future exploitation had negative past experiences with the legal system.
Training local service providers to better understand and screen for the legal needs of trafficking survivors and others can help ensure potential clients are identified and connected with HTPP and MVLS services. Building local connections and offering opportunities to meet with HTPP staff in-person through an organization an individual knows and trusts also helps build rapport and dispels clients’ concerns about addressing their legal issues.
We are excited about this busy month and hope you will stay tuned to MVLS’ social media accounts for news about these and additional events!