Support to End Exploitation Now (SEEN)
Support to End Exploitation Now Coalition (SEEN Coalition) is a groundbreaking program that partners more than 35 public and private agencies who believe that only genuine collaboration can yield positive outcomes for child victims of commercial sexual exploitation (CSEC).
What is CSEC?
Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) is a form of child abuse that occurs when children are forced or coerced into engaging in commercial sexual acts by exploiters or pimps. CSEC is child abuse. It’s a crime and a violation. Sadly, however, CSEC takes place at rates higher than most people realize.
Exploiters and pimps target vulnerable youth, many of whom have histories of abuse and neglect. Children who runaway from home frequently fall prey to the lure of love and security falsely promised by exploiters or pimps. A strong sense of loyalty to the exploiter or pimp and intense fear of violence often blinds the child from seeing themselves as a victim and prevents them from seeking help.
Until the creation of SEEN, this form of human trafficking was virtually unrecognized in Suffolk County with its victims seemingly invisible to both professionals and the community.
For more information on CSEC
What are SEEN’s Goals?
- Empower victims to leave their exploiter or pimp and utilize opportunities to regain control of their future and life;
- Ensure victims' physical and psychological safety;
- Ensure victims' access to resources and services, including: medical care, mental health care, substance abuse treatment, educational opportunities, job skills training, mentors/advocates, and more;
- Enforce offender accountability by apprehending and prosecuting adults who exploit youth; and
- Address the larger social issues impacting at-risk children through policy and education
How does SEEN achieve these goals?
Case Coordination & Multidisciplinary Response
Child abuse “best practice” is premised upon the philosophy that “no one agency can do it alone.” Cases referred to SEEN are incredibly complex, and involve many collaterals and often multiple jurisdictions. SEEN pulls all of these different individuals and entities together in order to facilitate an efficient and effective investigation, and ensure the long-term support for victims.
See the comprehensive SEEN response model
Outreach and Education
SEEN provides a variety of training for providers and community members including:
- SEEN response model to CSEC
- How to prevent, identify and intervene with CSEC victims and high-risk children
Tracking of Referrals and Outcomes
SEEN collects and analyzes data on all cases in order to better recognize children who are victims and at-risk. Tracking referals and outcomes also helps us better understand these children’s complex needs and how to support them.
Why is SEEN important?
SEEN is changing the system. We have forged solid and unprecedented partnerships between prosecutors and defense attorneys, social workers and probation officers, street workers and police. The members of the SEEN Coalition have made a public commitment to treat exploited youth as victims – not as offenders – with the goal of pursuing the adults who exploit these young people. We have created a community-wide response model that is built upon mutual understanding and trust with the belief that youth empowerment and offender accountability are not mutually exclusive.