Who We Serve
CMSAC serves youth and adults of all gender identities who have experienced sexual violence or commercial sexual exploitation (i.e. involved in the legal or illegal sex industry, was trafficked, or engaged in “survival sex”).
CMSAC is the only program in four-county area (Stearns, Benton, Sherburne, and Wright) mandated by the State of Minnesota to provide services to victims of sexual exploitation and trafficking. CMSAC provides confidential, victim-centered, non-judgmental, culturally-sensitive, and trauma-informed care.
We provide individual support counseling & psychoeducation, group support, referrals, safety planning, assistance with harassment & protection orders, Safe At Home program, supportive services, and assistance with personal care items and basic needs. We also offer presentations, trainings, and professional consultations- all at no cost.
CMSAC staff has been trained by national experts (including GEMS of New York) on service delivery and best practices for working with survivors of CSET. CMSAC has been trained in the facilitation of the following national curriculum for CSET prevention and intervention: Not A Number, My Life My Choice, and Ending the Game.
Safe Harbor/No Wrong Door Model
CMSAC was selected in November of 2014 by the state of Minnesota to serve commercially sexually exploited youth. The Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota Department of Human Services designated CMSAC to offer supportive services through the Safe Harbor/No Wrong Door model.
Commercial sexual exploitation of youth includes all youth (age 17 and under) who agreed to engage, or were forced to engage, in sexual activity, exotic dancing, stripping, erotic massage, or sexually explicit imagery/videos in exchange for something of value (or the promise of something of value). This may include a sexual exchange for a fee, food, clothing, transportation, a cell phone, a place to stay, protection, drugs, or alcohol. For the purposes of Safe Harbor/No Wrong Door, the means of exploitation is irrelevant in determining eligibility for services.
As of August 1, 2014, Minnesota youth 17 and younger engaged in any of the above activities are now considered a victim of a crime rather than a “juvenile delinquent” or a criminal. Youth 17 and younger are protected from the law and prostitution charges. All sexually exploited youth 24 and younger are eligible for safe housing and services across the state.
The Minnesota Statute 609.321 defines sex trafficking as “(1) receiving, recruiting, enticing, harboring, providing, or obtaining by any means an individual to aid in the prostitution of the individual; or (2) receiving profit or anything of value, knowing or having reason to know it is derived from an act described in clause (1).”
Commercial Sexual Exploitation becomes sex trafficking when a third party profits from, aids, or facilitates the commercial sexual exploitation of another.
Sex Trafficking in Central MN
Sex trafficking happens everywhere. St. Cloud, MN has the second-highest number of escort ads. Minnesota has also been identified by the FBI as one of thirteen states with a high concentration of child sex trafficking. St. Cloud has been considered a hub and “training ground” for sex trafficking by survivors and local law enforcement. CMSAC has responded to over a hundred new cases of sexual exploitation/trafficking since September of 2014. Despite this, there are no reliable statistics of how prevalent trafficking is because so few come forward or disclose.