The state has been trying to fight modern-day slavery on several different fronts, from revising the laws to raising awareness about human trafficking. A coalition of community groups is learning more about what can be done for the victims once they’re out of the system.
The Ohio Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Commission, which is a gathering of many groups fighting the crisis around the state, is working to strengthen victim services.
The commission’s Veronica Scherbauer says saving a victim from being trafficked is the first step, but that starts the long process of rebuilding their lives.
“Many of them have never had a real job. Many of them have never had stable housing. They may have children that are in custody of the state," Scherbauer says. "So they need continuing services to support them getting back on their feet."
Advocates are touting the need for round-the-clock support for victims who encounter emergency situations, such as threats or housing problems, at all hours of the day.
The commission is considering updating its victim services standards for the first time in five years.