Our speaker at the November 2021 CARV (Virtual) Gathering was Rosanne Hountz. She is Director of Population Health at Crossroad Health Center in Over the Rhine. She is also the president and co-founder of Josephine’s Clinic, a not-for-profit agency where survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking can find “professional, volunteer, trauma-informed medical and mental health care in a victim-centered, compassionate environment.”
Rosanne described the situation faced by many victims of trafficking. There are extremely few cases of kidnapping – rather, almost all victims know their trafficker. Many have been abused throughout childhood, have been exploited from a very young age and virtually all are currently addicted to drugs – a means of control by the trafficker.
People come to Josephine’s Clinic and its partner agencies, Women of Alabaster and Tamar’s Center, to find a safe place to rest, change clothes, shower and receive medical attention. The professionals at Josephine’s Clinic meet their clients where they are and help them come to believe that they are worthy and to relieve them of self-blame. The staff treats everyone with love and respect.
Rosanne described some of the issues that her clients face. They find that courts are unsympathetic to people who are addicted and engaged in prostitution without acknowledging their victimhood. Many are actually trafficked by family members. There is a strong sense of community among those who are being sex-trafficked, making it hard for a single victim to break free, leaving others behind. Children are “our best secret-keepers” because they are afraid, and courts tend to believe adults over children when the children do make accusations.
Josephine’s Clinic hopes to be able to purchase and outfit a mobile van to be able literally to meet people where they are. Donations and volunteer help are welcome at their website: https://josephinesclinic.com.