What is the Northern California Anti-Trafficking Coalition?
We are a group of Shasta County citizens–business people, moms and dads, and leaders in various sectors of our community–who have a passion to see human trafficking, specifically sex trafficking, become something our community is equipped to respond to in a holistic way.
We mean to educate our community about this issue as well as have intervention systems in place that bring restoration and healing to people involved–both the victim and the perpetrator. We are motivated by the reality that there are people–mostly women and children–who are in terrible situations of suffering and oppression. We aim to bring our community together, each of us playing our part to eradicate sex trafficking in our community.
Our focus can be described by four target areas:
Awareness -- educating the community and exposing the issue and risk of human trafficking;
Prevention -- eliminating the demand for commercial sex trafficking;
Intervention -- ending the supply of vulnerable and exploited individuals and interrupting trafficking where it’s found;
Restoration -- restoring the voice, value and identity of people impacted by human trafficking.
History of NCAT
The idea of NCAT was birthed from a place of ownership. In the beginning, it was simply a group of local individuals coming together for lunch and sharing stories of women we knew of who had been victims of abuse, and then deciding this couldn’t continue happening in the community we care so deeply about. Once we began the process of uniting, we discovered just how broad and wide the problem of trafficking is in Shasta County. We have been meeting consistently since November of 2013, with an increasing amount of community members and professional agencies coming to the table with their expertise, resources and knowledge to contribute to the holistic solution.
NCAT ultimately sees the response to sex trafficking as one of many individuals, many agencies, the professionals and ordinary citizens working hand in hand to forge a strong net of safety for vulnerable women and children, and a solid base of justice and accountability towards anyone seeking to exploit the vulnerable.
Our collective aim has always been, ‘how can we begin a discussion about trafficking in a way that our community comes to terms with how trafficking works in their own backyard and inspires them to take action?’
What is NCAT’s dream for the future?
NCAT desires to see Shasta County so well coordinated and educated on how Human Trafficking takes place (sex for sale is our simple description) that the commercial sex industry would have no foothold in our community. We see a community that is aware and educated as well as equipped and prepared to do what it can to make the difference needed. We see a community that is smart about eliminating any demand for commercial sex. If no one is buying sex than the likelihood of people being held against their will to perform sex acts will disappear–if there is no demand then there will more than likely be no supply.
But where it does exist we aim to ensure there is a well coordinated process of leadership in place to both recognize and identify victims in our midst, as well as coordinate a holistic response process to wrap around those victims with restorative care and resources.
That our daughters, our sisters, our mothers would never step foot onto the black-hole landscape of sex for sale, and that their value for themselves would ever steer them towards the destiny and potential that verifies their true worth. That anyone who would profit by exploiting the vulnerable in our midst would be held to account and face penalties stiff enough as to keep them from perpetuating this terrible injustice. And to those that say prostitution is a choice and a respectable form of bringing in an income, our simple response is to imagine your daughter in that life. We all know human value goes way beyond how much money should pass hands as a result of having had sexual intercourse. To be clear: wherever there is sex for sale, there is human trafficking.
NCAT will continue to play its part in supporting professionals in our community who are the primary first responders in this space and we will continue to facilitate and coordinate wherever there are gaps in the unfolding holistic solution plan. We are ever grateful to our Law Enforcement community and the social service community, without which the process of helping people in crisis would forever be a messy and unachievable end. We are ever grateful to our community that is humble enough to work together and passionate enough to step into being a part of the solution.