In July 2011, a small group of providers and law enforcement met to discuss trends they were seeing while serving Portland’s youth. By November 2011, they were screening regularly for sex trafficking and exploitation, and had established three workgroups and a monthly meeting schedule.
In February 2012, the group established a name and mission, and outlined the contents of a memorandum of understanding which supports their partnership and work. Since that time, the team has worked with the District 2 Chiefs of Police, who established a Special Victims and Vice Unit to address these issues; has trained providers and law enforcement from around the state and at the national sexual assault conference; has established prevention groups with clients at Preble Street Teen Center and the Maine Correctional Center; and launched a poster campaign aimed at potential victims.
Over 20 organizations and 60 individuals now regularly attend workgroups and meetings.
Members have attended or sponsored trainings with numerous national partners, including:
- My Life My Choice
- Girls in Mentoring and Education - GEMS
- Commercial Sex Trade and Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking—Las Vegas Vice Unit
- Advanced Victim Assistance Academy, September 2012