The article “Inside ‘the Life'” (Sept. 10) provided an excellent look at the vulnerabilities, dynamics and impacts of sex trafficking. At the time when Sara experienced sex trafficking, there were no resources for sex trafficking survivors in this community, which made it much harder for her to consider leaving “the Life.”

However, for the past three years, in response to the threat (or reality or increase) of human trafficking in this community, the Lewiston/Auburn Human Trafficking Collaborative was assembled and has been working to create strategies to address the issue from a prevention and an intervention perspective. There is a multi-disciplinary team of people trained to provide information and training to anyone interested in learning more about human trafficking.

Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Services, Safe Voices and New Beginnings have partnered to create a 24-hour response protocol for survivors of sex trafficking. Those services include immediate response, safety planning, ongoing case management services, advocacy and shelter when needed. The response team also involves mobilizing other community resources to assist the survivor as needs are identified.

Anyone involved in “the Life” in this community can now reach out and find help. That important resource is available by calling the SAPARS helpline at: 1-800-871-7741.

Marty McIntyre, Lewiston, executive director

Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Services

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