PSC provided medical care to its first human trafficking survivor in Hawaii in 2007, and has been a member of the Hawaii state interagency task force to combat human trafficking since 2008. Since 2012, PSC has been the sole federally subcontracted partner of the US Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime, Human Trafficking Services grant to provide and coordinate medical care, mental health and dental care to victims of human trafficking. Under this contract PSC also provides training to medical professionals within the state of Hawaii.
Survivors of human trafficking, torture, and immigrant domestic violence have complicated medical, psychological and social needs. A long and often traumatic migration or transit process is compounded by exploitation, abuse, and interpersonal violence upon arrival, leading to both acute and chronic medical and psychological issues.
Mistrust of authorities, lack of support systems, and language barriers complicate survivors’ health care access and appropriate treatment. Survivors of human rights abuses often suffer for months or even years before they are recognized or receive any assistance. Frequent threats, both personal and against family members back home, often leave victims terrified to escape or seek help.
The Pacific Survivor Center offers a holistic approach to care, with early and intensive medical and psychological intervention, collaborating with community partners to help meet the myriad needs of this vulnerable population. These partners include a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), social service agencies, and advocates specializing in immigrant, refugee and human rights law.
PSC also provides consultations when trafficking, torture, or immigrant domestic violence is suspected. Healthcare and social service providers can contact PSC for guidance on how to appropriately approach and refer clients who may be victims of human rights abuses.
PSC has over a decade of experience providing forensic medical evaluations and expert testimony for immigration, criminal, and civil proceedings. These services are often critical for survivors to obtain justice and immigration relief.
Forensic evaluations can be requested by organizations or individuals by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To improve our care and understanding of the populations we serve, PSC conducts original research that will inform practitioners on how to provide the best evidence-based care to survivors.
PSC is currently conducting a needs assessment for labor trafficking survivors through generous funding provided by the Atherton foundation. This research project will be completed in 2016 with findings to be presented and published in order to support the work of service providers in Hawaii and beyond.
Members of the PSC team have been published as experts in their work in internationally recognized peer-reviewed journals and have presented at various domestic and international conferences.
PSC believes in the importance of working together with survivors and fellow service providers toward the prevention of human rights abuses and exploitation. For PSC, community training and professional development education are the core of prevention efforts. In 2016 PSC will roll out an expanded educational prevention program that will feature a human trafficking animation developed using the stories of survivors here in Hawaii. This project has been made possible with generous support from the Junior League of Honolulu and the Hawaii Community Foundation.
Since 2007 PSC has trained hundreds of fellow human rights and humanitarian professionals in the recognition and appropriate treatment of victims of torture, trafficking, and domestic violence, as well as on medical forensics, labor rights, human rights, and humanitarian professionalism.