In Minnesota, a Safe Harbor law was passed in 2011 that provided a legislative framework for legal protections and state services for sexually exploited children and youth. This legislation shifted legal definitions of “sexually exploited youth” and “delinquent child” to acknowledge that exploited minors are not delinquent, but are victims. An expansion of the law in 2013 and 2014 included implementing No Wrong Door, a statewide, victim-centered response for serving exploited children and youth.
Safe Harbor Evaluation
Wilder Research conducted a second evaluation of the implementation of the Safe Harbor Law and No Wrong Door model from April 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017, including the impact of improvements based on recommendations from the Phase One study. Lessons learned from the latest report will inform grantee and evaluation activities in the future.
Since the Safe Harbor law passed in 2011 and the No Wrong Door framework implemented in 2013, progress has been made in providing services and resources to sexually exploited youth and young adults in Minnesota.
Safe Harbor grantees described the youth and young adult victims of sex trafficking they served as resilient, resourceful, brave, and strong, as well as being concerned with their own survival, and the survival of their families and communities.
But, more work needs to be done. The following recommendations were made based on findings in the current evaluation.
- Fund and conduct research to identify the prevalence of trafficking in Minnesota.
- Seek options for additional funding for Safe Harbor and obtain input on how funding is spent.
- Ensure effective service and housing options are available for specific cultural groups and sub-populations.
- Continue to expand training opportunities, including providing culturally customized options.
- Remove the age limit to provide Safe Harbor for all under the law.
- Improve collaboration across organizations by increasing use of cross-agency agreements.
- Improve consistency in the implementation of Safe Harbor.
- Increase prosecution of sex traffickers and penalties for trafficking.
Read the full Safe Harbor Evaluation Report 2017 at the Wilder Foundation.
2016 Mid-Year Report
Safe Harbor continues to gain ground in reaching Minnesota’s sexually exploited youth. In the last year and a half, MDH and our partners have created a statewide service infrastructure including 22 organizations, served nearly a thousand youth, and trained tens of thousands of adults and youth on Safe Harbor and sexual exploitation.
In July 2014, Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), with additional financial support from the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, contracted with Wilder Research to evaluate the implementation of the Safe Harbor Law and No Wrong Door model. In September 2015, Wilder Research completed the evaluation of Phase One, highlighting key findings and recommendations that could be used to guide improvements in Safe Harbor-related efforts to serve youth and young adult victims of sex trafficking in Minnesota.
For more information
Learn more about Safe Harbor Minnesota.
If you have questions about Safe Harbor, contact Lauren Ryan Safe Harbor/No Wrong Door Director 651-201-5412.