How You Can Be An Ally During COVID-19

Share information to your social media following

COVID is a rapidly evolving situation, creating uncertainty for victims and survivors of human trafficking. What we do know is that home isn’t a safe place for everyone, and many are stuck at home with their abusers. A way you can help is to reshare our posts on social media to bring this to the attention of others and hopefully, inspire them to take action.

To learn more about modern slavery, visit our website or social media channels: alliesagainstslavery.org, @alliesagainstslavery on Instagram, @alliesatx on Twitter, Allies Against Slavery on Facebook.

Call your representatives

Government assistance is essential for the well-being for the most vulnerable during this time. The Polaris Project, a leading research partner and operator of the National Human Trafficking Hotline, sent an email to agencies like us encouraging the following:

  • To help the most vulnerable, we can start by ensuring Congress gives local anti-trafficking service providers – shelters, drop-in counseling centers, employment support programs, legal clinics – the resources they need to meet the surge in demand. Call your Senators and Representatives and politely ask them to do the following:
    • Ensure that victim service providers funded by the Department of Justice and Department of Health and Human Services receive continued funding through FY21 and budget appropriations that reflect an increase in need.
    • Reauthorize the Runaway and Homeless Youth Trafficking Prevention Act to ensure that this vulnerable population has resources to survive and thrive in this challenging time.
    • Provide additional resources to support remote operations, increased call volumes, and overhauls of protocols for national service hotlines, including hotlines that support not only trafficking survivors but survivors of sexual assault, child abuse, domestic violence, victims of crime, and more.
    • Support the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights, providing much-needed protections to a group of workers who are extremely vulnerable to trafficking in the best of times and likely to be left out of most of the COVID-19 relief packages.
    • Strengthen congressional oversight of the Department of Labor and Department of Homeland Security as the federal government makes changes to the rules that protect migrant guest workers who provide the essential labor that safeguards our nation’s food supply.

 

Support our partners on the frontlines

Masks and cleaning supplies are still a huge need for our partners. Though most of their advocacy work is occurring virtually, some still are interacting with victims and survivors and running safe houses. They are working long hours, risking their health and safety to help the most vulnerable. They themselves require the necessary protection to do so.

Groceries! Some partners are delivering groceries to their clients’ front porches. HEB gift cards, Amazon gift cards, sanitary supplies – they are all needed and welcomed.

Specific needs from our partners:

  • SAFE (1401 Grove Blvd, Austin, TX 78741) : Baby Formula cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, masks, food, gift cards, clothing, baby wipes, diapers, disinfecting wipes
  • Refugee Services of Texas (500 East St. Johns Avenue, Ste. 1280, Austin, Tx 78752): Baby formula for newborn – 12 months, diapers size 2-5, food pantry , donations, medical referrals, referrals for counseling services, rent emergency assistance, etc.
  • Traffick911: You can find their needs on the organization’s Amazon wishlist.

 

Lend monetary support for vital resources

Wifi: We are so fortunate to live in a world that can continue to run thanks to technology. Our amazing partners are using this capability to support victims and survivors over the internet; however, due to the fact that many victims and survivors hold or previously held hourly positions, the economic downturn has hit them especially hard. They are struggling to keep up with rent and other bills, potentially triggering previous trauma and creating temptations to return to the life. Wifi is needed for them to obtain the services they need. If you could pay someone’s bill or connect us with someone you know that works for a company providing data, this will help more than you know.

Lodging: Shelters are at capacity in many places, leaving vulnerable people with very unsettling options : stay with their abuser, live on the streets, or return to the life. Any connections with lodging, such as hotels, could put a safe roof over victims’/survivors’ heads. Please contact us if you have any such connections or would like to sponsor a room for someone desperately needing shelter.

To cover expenses of hotel rooms, rideshares, delivery of basic needs, advocacy, case management, therapy and potentially shelter, you can donate to SAFE at P.O. Box 19454 Austin, TX 78760 or https://www.safeaustin.org/get-involved/donate/donate/

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