The Lehigh Valley Anti-Trafficking (LVAT)Collaborative is a multi-disciplinary team dedicated to raising awareness about human trafficking. Through a seven-day awareness campaign every first week of November, and other events throughout the year, LVAT recognizes the importance of survivor voices in the anti-trafficking movement and educates the community on their role in disrupting trafficking. The Lehigh Valley Anti-Trafficking Collaborative is composed of several social justice organizations dedicated to serving survivors on the frontlines. The collaborative is represented by Bloom for Women, Crime Victims Council, Valley Against Sex Trafficking, and Valley Youth House.
The mission of LVAT is to disrupt human trafficking in our community by building a united front to educate and equip our community to take action.
The Trafficking Victims in Persons Act defines human trafficking as acts that involve “coercing a person to provide labor or services, or to engage in commercial sex acts. The coercion can be subtle or overt, physical or psychological. Exploitation of a minor for commercial sex is human trafficking, regardless of whether any form of force, fraud, or coercion was used”(Department of Justice)
Throughout November’s LVAT Week important events are facilitated throughout the Lehigh Valley. These events serve to recognize survivors, elevate their voices and provide essential education to the community. Research shows that resources for human trafficking survivors are limited and the population remains extremely vulnerable and underserved. In efforts to address the marginal gaps in services, interagency collaboration is essential. Collaborative service models allow for each agency to “achieve goals and objectives beyond any individual organization’s capacity” (Kim et al., 2018p. 188). Each of our agencies provide a key component of quality care needed to walk survivors through each step of their journey.