Close Sign Up Share Page Print Take Poll Provide Feedback

Sign Up

Share Page

Quiénes somos  |   Tungkol sa Amin  |   회사 소개  |   Về chúng tôi  |   关于我们

Expert Q&A

Topic: The Vulnerabilities of LGBTQ and Homeless Youth to Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation

Date: June 21, 2017; 2:00–3:00 p.m. e.t.

Description: This session will address lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning (LGBTQ) youth; young men who have sex with men; and young women who have sex with women who are victims of human trafficking, experiencing homelessness, or engaged in survival sex. The session will discuss the delivery of trauma-informed, gender-sensitive, and inclusive services, and how service providers can advocate to improve their experiences with law enforcement, the criminal justice system, and the child welfare system.



Featured Host:

Meredith DankMeredith Dank is a research professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. Dr. Dank is an authority on the topic of human trafficking; conducted research in 10 countries; and participated in a White House stakeholder meeting on victim services for survivors during the Obama Administration. Her current studies include Capturing Human Trafficking Victimization Through Crime Reporting and Measuring Modern Slavery in the Indian State of Bihar.
Prior to joining John Jay, Dr. Dank spent more than 7 years as a researcher with the Urban Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank that carries out economic and social policy research. At the Urban Institute, she served as principal investigator on more than a dozen studies overseen by the U.S. Departments of Justice and State, including one that estimated the size and structure of the underground commercial sex economy in the United States, and another that examined the experiences of LGBTQ youth and young men who have sex with men engaged in the commercial sex market. She also teamed with the New York Legal Aid Society’s Exploitation Intervention Project, documenting the experiences of individuals who engaged in commercial sex and were arrested on prostitution-related charges.

Dr. Dank has been interviewed by local and national news media, including The PBS NewsHour, and more than 400 online, print, and television news outlets, including the Associated Press, Christian Science Monitor, and Al-Jazeera America, have quoted her research. In 2011, Dr. Dank authored her first book, The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in New York City. During the last 9 years, she authored or co-authored more than 30 government reports and published 10 articles in peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Dank holds a Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
View Full Biography

Expert Q&A is a national forum designed to help victim service providers communicate with national experts and colleagues about best practices for assisting victims of crime. Each month, a new topic will be presented, and one or more subject matter experts will be available to answer your questions on this issue.

It's easy to participate:

1. Register and submit your questions in advance.
2. Log into the session at the time of the event.
3. Listen to the experts discuss your questions.

All sessions are recorded, so you can watch them anytime at your convenience.

Expert Q&A Recordings

Each month the Nation's experts answer your questions about best practices in victim services. If you missed a past session, find the recording below.

Expand All
Topic Date Length Training Materials
Show Summary Show Host Biography May 24, 2017 1 hour Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint
Summary: Alcohol-impaired driving is a crime. Its perpetrators are criminals. And, most importantly, victims of drunk drivers and other impaired driving crashes are crime victims and deserve to be treated no differently than any other crime victim. This session will focus on how to help law enforcement support and integrate victim assistance services within their agencies and, thereby, provide both crisis and longer term assistance to victims of DUI/impaired driving crashes and all crime victims.
Host Biographies:

Dan Eddy is the executive director of the National Association of Crime Victim Compensation Boards, a position he has held since 1988. He implements national training and technical assistance activities for all state crime victim compensation programs and operates an information and resource center for compensation programs and the general public. From 1984–1988, he served as crime victims project director for the National Association of Attorneys General. He is a graduate of Harvard College and the University of Maryland School of Law. He received the Donald E. Santarelli award for contributions in public policy from the National Organization for Victim Assistance in 2001, and the Ronald Reagan Public Policy Award from the U.S. Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime in 2008.

Colleen Sheehey-Church joined MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) in 2005, a year after her 18-year-old son Dustin drowned when the car he was riding in, driven by a teen with alcohol and drugs in her system, crashed into a river, trapping Dustin in the vehicle. Before becoming national president in 2015, Ms. Sheehey-Church served on MADD’s National Board of Directors beginning in 2010. As a devoted volunteer for MADD Connecticut serving on the State Advisory Board, she spoke at Victim Impact Panels and in high schools, and urged legislators for stronger drunk driving laws with her husband, Skip. Her tireless advocacy on a local, state, and national level resulted in her being named national president.

Sheriff John Whetsel began his law enforcement career in 1967, joined the Choctaw Police in 1973, and served as Choctaw Chief of Police for 21 years before being elected Oklahoma County Sheriff. He retired after serving as Sheriff for 20 years. He has an associate’s degree in Police Science, a bachelor's degree in Government and Sociology, and master’s studies in Criminal Justice. Sheriff Whetsel wrote many law enforcement articles and was a guest on the Phil Donahue Show, Larry King Live, Dateline, NBC Nightly News, Hard Copy, Front Page, America’s Most Wanted, and You Be the Judge. He is nationally recognized as a traffic safety advocate.

Tim Woods is the director of the Grants and Contracts Division at the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA), where he has worked since 1997. A nonprofit, constituent organization headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, NSA has approximately 20,000 members and represents the more than 3,000 sheriffs in the United States. Mr. Woods has also been the project director on more than 25 federal grants while at NSA. Prior to joining NSA, he was the director of Networking and Outreach on the National Institute of Justice’s National Criminal Justice Reference Service contract with Aspen Systems Corporation (now Lockheed Martin/Leidos) in Rockville, Maryland (1994–1997).
Show Summary Show Host Biography April 19, 2017 1 hour Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint
Summary: Providing comprehensive health care to survivors of sexual assault is critical to minimizing the long-term consequences of this traumatic experience. That is where a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) can help. This session will focus on how to start or improve a SANE program in your community with OVC’s SANE Program Development and Operation Guide.
Host Biographies:

Susan Chasson, M.S.N., J.D., SANE-A, is a family nurse practitioner and certified nurse midwife at the Merrill Gappmayer Family Medicine Clinic, and she is the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) coordinator for the Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault. As the statewide SANE coordinator, she provides education and assistance to health care providers and other professionals to improve the immediate response to victims of sexual violence. As a volunteer, Ms. Chasson has worked on projects to reduce sexual violence, including developing primary sexual violence prevention strategies for nurses and helping to write an amicus brief to the Maine Supreme Court to maintain immunity for reporters of child abuse.

Jennifer Pierce-Weeks, R.N., SANE-A, SANE-P, Education Director for the International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN), working with project partners, developed and implemented IAFN's 40-hour online Sexual Assault Forensic Examination adult/adolescent training program with a 16-hour clinical skills workshop through a grant from the National Institute of Justice. Ms. Pierce-Weeks regularly presents nationally on a variety of forensic nursing-related topics, including child and adult sexual assault, intimate partner violence, strangulation, child maltreatment, and Sexual Assault Response Team development.
Show Summary Show Host Biography March 22, 2017 1 hour Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint
Summary: Organizations that serve these youth should be well grounded in trauma-informed care. This session will address how to mitigate the risk for both (re)victimization and criminal offending, the victim/offender overlap, responding to youth victims of crime, and the complex ethics and mandatory reporting requirements involved in this work.
Host Biographies:

Mitru Ciarlante has more than 25 years of leadership in programs advocating for child and youth victims. She created a comprehensive children’s advocacy program model, started a statewide children’s advocacy task force, established peer education programs, and organized a statewide youth activist network. Working through her consulting firm (ACT for Change) and as director of the Youth Initiative at the National Center for Victims of Crime, Ms. Ciarlante has experience creating trauma-informed, direct service program models and curricula for responding to childhood victimization. She received extensive training from the Child Trauma Academy and the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

Angela Downes is an attorney. Her work focuses on public service, policy, and legislative efforts to protect the public trust. She provides training, policy expertise, and technical assistance to nonprofit agencies on the interpersonal violence issues of child abuse, child protection, domestic violence, human trafficking, and elder abuse. As a senior program attorney with the Vera Institute of Justice, an organization dedicated to working with government agencies, Ms. Downes worked with prosecutors and district attorneys' offices to improve the criminal justice system through technical assistance, policies, resolution of conflict, programs, and advocacy.
Show Summary Show Host Biography February 15, 2017 1 hour Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint
Summary: Now that the VOCA Final Rule has been released, many more nonprofit agencies can apply for funding to assist unserved and underserved victims. The VOCA Final Rule released some previous restrictions in the VOCA Victim Assistance Guidelines, but this does not necessarily mean every state’s statutes, rules, and/or policies have changed. This session will provide some best practices on how to navigate this complicated state system to maximize your agency’s ability to build capacity in your organization and increase services to our most vulnerable victim populations.
Host Biography:

Grace Call brings extensive experience working with victims of crime to enhance programs across the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center and deliver technical assistance to justice reinvestment states. Prior to joining the CSG Justice Center, she was a visiting fellow at the Office for Victims of Crime at the U.S. Department of Justice, and directed the VOCA Victim Assistance program for the Office of Crime Victims Advocacy in the State of Washington. Ms. Call previously led the Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault. She started her work with victims in the late 1990s as a volunteer at the Rape Recovery Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. She received her B.S. in Gender Studies from the University of Utah.
Show Summary Show Host Biography January 27, 2017 1 hour Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint
Summary: Substance use can be a coping mechanism for a trauma response to being trafficked; however, it can also be the mechanism that ensures control by traffickers on human trafficking (HT) victims/survivors. This session will address procedures, for example: How does addiction play a role for survivors of HT experiencing trauma? What should service providers know about substance abuse when responding to survivors of HT or investigating HT? How to balance the substance abuse with the victimization and the trauma that occur?
Host Biographies:

Tracy Busse is a licensed professional counselor and approved clinical supervisor who has provided therapeutic services to children, adolescents, adults, and families for more than 12 years. She specializes in working with adolescents and women who experienced various forms of trauma from sex trafficking, childhood sexual abuse, physical abuse, psychological abuse, and other forms of developmental trauma. Ms. Busse has training in several evidence-based practices for treating trauma. Additionally, she provides therapy to adults and adolescents who have challenges related to grief/loss, substance abuse, depression, and family issues. Ms. Busse believes in providing individualized, holistic care through a gentle, compassionate approach that leads to healing and restoration. In addition to providing psychotherapy, she provides training and awareness to the community around the issues of sex trafficking and exploitation. She was a member of the Georgia Governor’s Office Task Force for 5 years and worked with the community to develop training for caregivers and childcare workers. Ms. Busse led therapeutic trainings for safe homes, shelters, and other human service professionals with strategies for working with survivors of sexual exploitation and complex trauma. She co-created a therapeutic model for working with survivors of sex trafficking and led multiple trainings to the therapeutic community in Georgia. Ms. Busse partnered with Moody Bible Institute as an adjunct professor to create a curriculum for an Intro to Sexual Exploitation course, as well as an online course for educating students about sex trafficking. While working as the clinical director for Wellspring Living, she developed residential and transitional programming for adult and adolescent survivors of sexual exploitation. In these programs, Ms. Busse was able to develop new leaders in the fight against human trafficking, create innovative treatment approaches for survivors, and advocate for the needs of women and girls who have been sexually exploited.

Elisabeth Corey is an advocate working against childhood trauma and a life coach for trauma survivors. She offers one-on-one guidance, virtual groups, and email workshops to help survivors build awareness of their inner conversation and heal their trauma. Her guidance is informed by her personal recovery after a childhood of family-controlled sex trafficking and abuse. She trains recovery helpers in the holistic impact of complex trauma and using trauma as a source of connection as opposed to separation. She raises awareness of familial abuse and trafficking through legislative advocacy, media interviews, conference presentations, and published writings.


If you would like to access Guest Host sessions prior to January 2017, please view them on the OVC website.

What is Expert Q&A?

Expert Q&A is a national forum designed to help victim service providers communicate with national experts and colleagues about best practices for assisting victims of crime. Each month, a new topic will be presented, and one or more subject matter experts will be available to answer your questions on this issue.

How do I register and submit my questions for an Expert Q&A session?

You can register for an upcoming session by visiting the What's New page and selecting the "Register" button. When you register for a session, you will be prompted to submit one to three questions in advance.

What are the technical requirements to participate in an Expert Q&A session?

In order to participate in the session, you should make sure that you have:

  • A strong Internet connection, preferably a hardwired connection.
  • The latest version of Adobe Flash Player installed.
  • Computer speakers or a headset to hear the audio.

You can test your Internet connection and Flash Player on the Adobe Connect Diagnostic Test page. You should see four green checkmarks to indicate that you are ready to connect to the Adobe Connect meeting.

How do I join the session?

If you registered for the session, you should have received an email confirmation with a meeting URL. Simply click on this link at the time of the event to enter the room as a registered participant.

If you did not register for the session, you can still request to enter as a guest by going to this website. Select the option for "Enter as a Guest," type your name in the "Name" field, and click the "Enter Room" button. Please note that you may not be able to join as a guest if registration is already filled to capacity. Register in advance to secure your spot in the session.

I am having issues logging into the session. What should I do?

Check the following simple items to help resolve access issues.

  • Make sure you are connected to the Internet.
  • Make sure you have downloaded the latest version of Adobe Flash Player.
  • Disable popup blocker software.
  • Clear the browser’s cache.
  • Try connecting from another computer.
  • Make sure you are accessing the correct URL.
  • If you registered for the event, enter the room with your registered email address.
  • If you were unable to register, try entering the room as a guest.

You can test your Internet connection and Flash Player on the Adobe Connect Diagnostic Test page. You should see four green checkmarks to indicate that you are ready to connect to the Adobe Connect meeting.

If you continue to experience issues, please email for assistance.

I missed the session. Where can I find the recording?

Recordings of past sessions are posted on our Past Sessions page, where you can view them at any time.

My question was not addressed during the session. How can I contact the host?

If your question was not addressed during the session, please email