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Program Updates! Help Trafficked Kids through Health, Education, Advocacy, and Reintegration

By | About HNP, Education, News, Pearl Haven | No Comments

Looking Back – and Ahead Sex Trafficking Education and Advocacy

2018 was a year of great expansion for Hoʻōla Nā Pua. Two of our programs, the Education Program and Starfish Mentoring Program (SMP), experienced phenomenal growth and reached more keiki than ever before. Our Education Advocates reached over 3,900 middle and high school students through sex trafficking prevention education – nearly doubling our 2018 goal of 2,000!   Trafficking prevention education was provided to students on three islands (Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi Island, Maui) in five school districts (Central, Honolulu, Leeward, Hawaiʻi, Maui).

  • SMP’s Hoku group mentoring expanded from three juvenile facilities to five: Hawaiʻi Youth Correctional Facility, Hale Hoʻomalu Juvenile Detention Facility, Hale Kipa Girls Emergency Shelter, Hale Lanipōlua Trafficked Victim Assessment Center, and Noho Olu Girls’ Safe House.   2019 is bringing even more significant opportunities in continuing to build the continuum of care needed for children in Hawaiʻi.   This year we are focusing on our programmatic impact and measurement along with continuous expansion and sustainability by:
    • Reducing trafficking vulnerability and demand through creative education, advocacy, and partnerships.
    • Driving a cultural shift in reducing stigma around the issue of trafficking and being a thought leader in the anti-trafficking space
    • Expanding the much needed Hoku group mentoring service into more adolescent facilities both on Oʻahu and Hawaiʻi Island.
    • Increasing the number of trained volunteers for in the Starfish Mentoring program as well as our Educational Advocacy program to deliver in-school prevention education.
    • Developing an advocacy agenda and engaging our volunteers and supporters to be a part of the needed legislative changes.
    • Cultivating more partnerships and collaborative opportunities- because together our impact is greater!

Sex Trafficking Program Updates

Hoʻōla Nā Pua has partnered with Child & Family Service and Catholic Charities Hawaiʻi to offer free services to children and families who are survivors of sexual abuse. The Hope and HealingProgram provides an ʻohana style approach, offering wraparound services of counseling and support to child survivors and their families.The program also screens and assesses the risk of sex trafficking and provides concurrent treatment planning as needed. HNP provides trafficking prevention and identification training, mentoring services, and Hoku group activities. Other services include assessment, family support, and individual, group, and family counseling.   There are new faces at HNP headquarters! Kim Allen, LSW, has joined us as our new Direct Services Program Manager for the Starfish Mentoring Program. Kim comes to HNP with over a decade of experience with program management at the State Child and Adolescent Mental Health Division. Tim Hitchens, MSW, is our new Education Program Manager. Tim is an experienced social worker from Philadelphia where he was a policy and program supervisor at the Department of Health and oversaw the Child Welfare hotline. If you see them around our offices, say hello!

Pearl Haven Residential Treatment Updates

Pearl Haven is in renovation phase 3 of 6, and we are close to 50% of the project cost raised. We are so thankful for the MacNaughton Foundation and John Dean, among others, who in the fourth quarter of 2018 made significant contributions to keep construction moving forward at Pearl Haven.   We are at a critical step in project development, and are working on securing an operation partner for the services Pearl Haven will provide. We believe in quality programming to ensure a strong and sustainable program. The community and national support for a place like Pearl Haven continues to increase, and recognition of the level of trauma interventions are becoming apparent. Once completed, Pearl Haven will be the safe space for the girls we serve! Learn more about Pearl Haven construction updates.

Please consider donating to help continue to make Pearl Haven a reality.

Be part of the solution! It’s with the dedication of our supporters that we are able to advance education, awareness, and action to provide restoration for children rescued from sexual exploitation. Whether you want to volunteer your time, voice, or resources, we’ve made it easy find a way to get involved with Hoʻōla Nā Pua.


You can help survivors of sex traffickingDonations for sex trafficking to Hoʻōla Nā Pua support Health, Education, Advocacy and Reintegration, which includes our Starfish mentorship program and sustains ongoing operating and Pearl Haven site development costs. Our Federal ID number (EIN) is 46-5139164. Your gift may be 100% deductible from your taxable income.

sex-trafficking-shelter-walk-hawaii

2019 Message from Ho’ola Na Pua President

By | About HNP, Advocacy, Pearl Haven | No Comments
This year is off to a wonderful start! 2018 was a year of innumerable blessings with our April 2018 Ground blessing and commencement of renovation of pearl haven, the growth and expansion of our in school education prevention programs, trainings, and in the Starfish Mentoring Program. We were able to expand our collaborative partnerships and increase our impact by working closely with other community-based organizations. Our diverse board of directors and advisory board members continues to, and we are excited for the depth of leadership and expertise they are contributing to this critical mission and our programs.

Advocacy and Awareness Around the Issue of Child Exploitation

As we run into 2019, I am excited for the many opportunities that lie ahead with furthering the advocacy and awareness around the issue of child exploitation in America both locally and nationally. I truly believe that we exist as an organization to have a worldwide impact around the response to child trafficking. As I interface with many leaders in the anti-trafficking space around the globe, it becomes clearer to me every day that we have to continue to be strategic and think outside the box to create a sustainable response to exploitation and drive the cultural shift needed in America towards the trafficking of children. We are planting seeds through every conversation we engage in, and these seeds are being taken around the world. This sparks the changes that are needed on a large scale. Despite being out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, we have reach and impact that is sending a title wave of change around the globe that is dire for the freedom and protection of children.

Sex Trafficking Legislation

The tides are changing, the conversations are different, and there is an openness to the dialogue that has never been present before. Currently, in the legislative arena, there is proposed legislation geared towards creating a centralized database for tracking the number of cases reported in Hawaii and demographic information on victims, sex buyers and traffickers. It would also track the number of arrests, prosecutions, and convictions of people who solicit sex in violation of existing laws. There is also an important piece of legislation that would mandate statewide coordinated trainings for law enforcement personnel and the legal community. Hawaii is one of 12 states that have not enacted laws to require public agencies to receive human trafficking training. Ho’ola Na Pua continues to support these efforts through written and verbal testimony.

Continued Care for Child Sex Trafficking in Hawaii

There are significant opportunities in continuing to build the continuum of care needed for the children in Hawaii. This year we are focusing on our programmatic impact and measurement along with continued expansion and sustainability.
  • Continue to reduce trafficking vulnerability and demand through creative education, advocacy, and partnerships.
  • Continue to drive a cultural shift in reducing stigma around the issue of trafficking and being a thought leader in the anti-trafficking space
  • Expanding the much needed Starfish-HOKU group programming into more adolescent facilities both on Oahu and Hawaii Island.
  • We are continuing to increase the number of trained volunteers for in the Starfish Mentoring program as well as our educational advocacy program to deliver in school prevention education.
  • We are expanding in school prevention educational opportunities to Maui and Kauai.
  • Developing an advocacy agenda and engaging our volunteers and supporters to be a part of the needed legislative changes.
  • We are developing and cultivating more partnerships and collaborative opportunities- because together our impact is greater!
sex-trafficking-shelter-walk-hawaii
We think and dream BIG. Our staff continues to grow in diverse professional makeup and expertise.

Pearl Haven Sex Trafficking Shelter

Pearl Haven is in renovation phase 3 of 6, and we are near 50% of our project cost raised. We are so thankful for the MacNaughton Foundation and John Dean along with many others who in the fourth quarter of 2018 contributed significantly to helping keep construction moving forward at Pearl Haven. We are at a critical step in this project development and are working on securing an operational partner for the services to be provided on the campus. We believe in quality programming to ensure a sustainable and robust program. The community and national support around the need for a place like Pearl Haven continues to increase and recognition of the level of trauma interventions are becoming apparent. We will do this- Pearl Haven will be completed, and it will be the needed safe space for the girls we serve!
I am forever grateful for your support, encouragement, and for believing in what WE can accomplish together. We have lit a spark that is spreading, and many are joining not only in conversation but also in engagement. We are looking forward to a productive 2019, meeting our goals, exceeding last years impact, and rooting our programmatic efforts. I am honored to be able to continue to do this work, to provide leadership in this space, plant advocacy seeds, and inspire generations of justice seekers.
With a grateful and expectant heart!
– JESSICA MUNOZ

Please consider donating to help continue to make Pearl Haven a reality.

Be part of the solution! It’s with the dedication of our supporters that we are able to advance education, awareness, and action to provide restoration for children rescued from sexual exploitation. Whether you want to volunteer your time, voice, or resources, we’ve made it easy find a way to get involved with Hoʻōla Nā Pua.


You can help survivors of sex traffickingDonations for sex trafficking to Hoʻōla Nā Pua support Health, Education, Advocacy and Reintegration, which includes our Starfish mentorship program and sustains ongoing operating and Pearl Haven site development costs. Our Federal ID number (EIN) is 46-5139164. Your gift may be 100% deductible from your taxable income.


Jessica Munoz is the Founder and President of Ho`ōla Nā Pua.  She is also a practicing Nurse Practitioner in Hawaii. While working as a pediatric crisis nurse, Jessica encountered first-hand the brutality and traumatizing effects of sex trafficking on children and young women. She recognized the need for a comprehensive system of care specific to meeting the unique needs of girls who have been sexually exploited. In 2011, Jessica volunteered with a mainland-based organization hoping their stated mission to build a home for trafficked girls would be successful. In 2013 Jessica and members of Ho`ōla Nā Pua decided that in order to complete their mission they needed to be independent, Hawaii established, and focused on their four core program areas of Health, Education, Advocacy, and Reintegration. Ho`ōla Nā Pua was founded on the core premises that sexually exploited children require a safe refuge and comprehensive renewal services tailored to their individual needs.

 

Sex Trafficking in Hawaiʻi: The Stories of Survivors

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Sex Trafficking in Hawaiʻi: The Stories of Survivors 

Sex Trafficking in Hawaiʻi: The Stories of Survivors

“I didn’t ever feel like a victim. I never felt victimized until I started listening to other things that people were saying. And then questioning, what is victimization? That is someone like me. Someone took advantage of me. Someone coerced me. That is somebody like me. And it is so obvious I am a victim. It was because when I was 15 and I thought I had it together and I knew what I wanted and I knew what I was doing and I was down for my man.”

“When we called law enforcement to report her missing, they told me “if she wants to be out by herself, then let her.”

“You just don’t get out of this. That doesn’t happen. I would get my ass beat.”

-From the participants in this study.

This report is dedicated to the twenty-two brave people who told their stories of pain and survival.

Read the full Sex Trafficking in Hawaiʻi report HERE

Sex trafficking has been found in every state in the United States including Hawaiʻi and in most countries around the world. The global and national dimensions of sex trafficking have functioned to obscure the unique and intertwined commodification of bodies and land in Hawaiʻi. …sex trafficking remains a hidden and silent phenomenon or portrayed as an issue affecting only foreign-born women. Sex trafficking, which is the forced prostitution of an adult or the sexual exploitation through prostitution of a child, is present in Hawaiʻi but the scope of the problem is unclear. This study examines in depth the experiences of victims of sex trafficking in Hawaiʻi.

Funding for this study was provided by the Kaimas foundation.

The study was conducted by:

Arizona State University Office of Sex Trafficking Intervention’s Dominique Roe-Sepowitz, MSW, Ph.D. and the Hawaiʻi State Commission on the Status of Women’s Khara Jabola-Carolus, J.D.

Please consider donating to help continue to make Pearl Haven a reality.

Be part of the solution! It’s with the dedication of our supporters that we are able to advance education, awareness, and action to provide restoration for children rescued from sexual exploitation. Whether you want to volunteer your time, voice, or resources, we’ve made it easy find a way to get involved with Hoʻōla Nā Pua.


You can help survivors of sex traffickingDonations for sex trafficking to Hoʻōla Nā Pua support Health, Education, Advocacy and Reintegration, which includes our Starfish mentorship program and sustains ongoing operating and Pearl Haven site development costs. Our Federal ID number (EIN) is 46-5139164. Your gift may be 100% deductible from your taxable income.

Hōkū: Sex Trafficking Education, Prevention and Resiliency

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Hōkū: Sex Trafficking Education, Prevention and Resiliency

By Kaitlin Hazama, Volunteeer

Aloha, my name is Kaitlin Hazama and I am a social work practicum student from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. I have been a practicum student at Hoʻōla Nā Pua for nearly two semesters, and I will also be closing out my senior year here next Spring. During my time here, it has been interesting to see the dynamics of a non-profit organization and I have enjoyed learning about the various programs of Hoʻōla Nā Pua. At first, I was reluctant because human sex trafficking can be a heavy topic but in the end, I am glad that I chose to continue my practicum experience at Hoʻōla Nā Pua. I am fortunate to have been given the unique opportunity to be a part of the excellent work that is being done by Hoʻōla Nā Pua with survivors and those who are at risk of human sex trafficking in Hawaiʻi

Mentoring Sex Trafficking Victims

I am involved with Hōkū, a program within Starfish Mentoring Program. Hōkū means star in native Hawaiian. We go into juvenile facilities on a weekly basis and do various arts & crafts and food activities with the girls. Through these activities, we aim to empower the participants to build protective factors, emotional intelligence, and resiliency skills and that while participating in these activities, they are able to explore their talents and creativity. We hope that through this consistent weekly contact we can be safe, supportive adults in their lives and that they will leave the facilities with knowledge or skills they did not previously have. I am always eager to attend Hōkū because each day is completely different. I enjoy getting to watch the girls put their own creative twists on activities and it has been great getting to see with my own eyes how extremely talented each and every one of them are.

Rehabilitation and Establishing Trust

Over the course of time that I have been going into the facilities and doing activities with the girls, I have noticed gradual success. At first, I could tell that some of the girls were hesitant to open up about themselves with me because I was a newcomer. According to other facilitators at Hoʻōla Nā Pua, this is a very common issue because a lot of times these girls have had negative experiences with adults and it is difficult to establish trust. After going into the facility multiple times and being a familiar face, I was able to establish a connection with some of them and I noticed they were more willing to open up to the group. It may seem like a small step, but relationship and rapport building takes time and every step forward counts.

Currently, Hōkū is being held at two sites on Oahu and one site on the Big Island and we are currently in the process of expanding the Hōkū program to various facilities throughout Oahu. The Hōkū curriculum is also currently undergoing exciting changes and we hired a program coordinator to further develop the curriculum and a manual to hopefully aid in the expansion of the program across the island. Activities that are being developed will be centered around teaching the girls that they are valuable, that they have the power of choice, that they are strong and that they have purpose.

Small Group Activities

An example of an activity that teaches the girls that they are valuable, includes nail and hand care. In this activity, girls can make a scrub for their hands, and paint their fingernails and design their own nails according to their own taste. Hands are the human bodies most valuable tool and our skin is our bodies largest organ. Our skin serves as a protective barrier from our insides and the rest of the world. By taking care of our skin, it exemplifies that we care about ourselves and our health. A simple activity like hand scrubs and nail painting can make someone feel special and valued.

Making a Difference

“Each participant is seen as a star, and Hōkū programming is designed to fire each participant up so they shine brightly and maintain their twinkle despite life’s challenges” Hōkū program manual

When asked what she wanted to prove wrong , she said “ I want to prove to my family that I’m not like my brothers and sisters who keep messing up; I’m not like that; I’m better!”

Often when youth leave juvenile justice facilities, they are only given a black trash bag with which to take their personal belongings home. Decorating canvas bags at Hōkū so they have a real bag in which to take things home is an example of a simple craft activity that can be used to instill a sense of value and worth in participants.

 


Starfish Mentoring Program (SMP)

The vision of Ho‘ōla Nā Pua’s Starfish Mentoring Program (SMP) is that no survivor of sex trafficking is ever left without the support of a caring adult to help guide them toward healing, renewal and successful social reintegration. SMP offers a variety of services: one-to-one mentoring, Hōkū (group activities in facilities), a family support group, and specialized agency training.  

Hōkū Group Activities

HOKU GROUP ACTIVITIES SMP holds weekly group activities (HOKU) in facilities for girls identified as high risk or victims of CSEC. This service is currently offered at Hawai‘i Youth Correctional Facility (Kailua), Hale Ho‘omalu (Kapolei), and Noho Olu Safehome (Hawai‘i Island). By definition, girls in the juvenile justice system and in the care of social services are at higher risk of CSEC victimization and many have been identified as victims. SMP offers services at these facilities in alignment with the one-to-one mentoring service with the purpose of preventing further victimization and establishing protective factors via activities that build life skills and encourage self-empowerment. CONNECTION AND CONSISTENCY are two major factors that aid healing in trauma survivors. For youth who have been traumatized, there is a general distrust of all adults which makes establishing new connections difficult. In the majority of cases, youth in facilities have experienced early childhood trauma. Research shows that childhood trauma often manifests in reactive behaviors, which may escalate into “criminal” activity. HNP serves girls in facilities because we aim to be a part of a solution that disrupts the cycle of abuse/trauma leading to reactive/criminal behaviors that inevitably sends the youth back into the juvenile justice system. A productive disruption of this cycle can happen through trauma-informed care. While lessons and activities are planned for Hōkū sessions, the underlying goals of the weekly meetings are just as important.

Please consider donating to help continue to make this dream a reality.

Be part of the solution! It’s with the dedication of our supporters that we are able to advance education, awareness, and action to provide restoration for children rescued from sexual exploitation. Whether you want to volunteer your time, voice, or resources, we’ve made it easy find a way to get involved with Hoʻōla Nā Pua.


You can help survivors of sex traffickingDonations for sex trafficking to Hoʻōla Nā Pua support Health, Education, Advocacy and Reintegration, which includes our Starfish mentorship program and sustains ongoing operating and Pearl Haven site development costs. Our Federal ID number (EIN) is 46-5139164. Your gift may be 100% deductible from your taxable income.