Commercial Sexual Exploitation, Trafficking, and Sex/Erotic Industry Survivor Services
Anyone can be sexually exploited. Victim/survivors come from every background, age, race, sex, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, culture, and economic status. Many times, those who have been sexually exploited do not identify or appear to be victims on the surface. Involvement in the life or industry is often a result of a lack of choices. Many victims are groomed into the industry through sexual abuse and prior childhood trauma. For many, trading sex to meet their basic needs is the only way they can survive. No one chooses to be sexually abused and exploited.
Learn more about Commercial Sexual Exploitation & Trafficking (CSET), resources, research, etc.
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.
Individual Support Counseling
CMSAC offers FREE individual support counseling. If not in current crisis, our first meeting will be filling out an intake form. All sessions are client-directed and client-centered (this means we will only discuss what YOU want/are comfortable talking about). Our sessions focus mostly on psycho-education & emotional support. We do not conduct therapy or psychological testing. You can meet with us here or we can meet you at your school, treatment center, group home, church, or other public place. We do not meet in homes.
Women of Worth (W.O.W.) Group
W.O.W. is an empowering, gender-responsive, and trauma-informed psycho-educational group that addresses various topics relevant to women who have been involved in the sex industry (or those who are at-risk). Please contact the W.O.W. Program Coordinator to schedule an intake: 320-258-5413
Click HERE for more info on W.O.W.
We can assist you in:
- making a safety plan if you are currently or could potentially be in a dangerous situation
- applying for a Harassment Restraining Order or Order For Protection
- applying for the Safe At Home program
- finding emergency safe housing in Minnesota
CMSAC does consistent monthly outreach with high-risk youth and adults of all genders at jails, group homes, and treatment facilities in our service area, (e.g. Recovery Plus, Journey Home, Prairie House, and Maple Lake Recovery). We visit various group homes and facilities regularly to present and lead small groups. If your agency would like us to host a psycho-educational group (for adolescents or adults) at your facility, please contact us!
Professional Trainings & Community Education Presentations
CMSAC offers the following community presentations and professional trainings listed HERE. Please contact the Trafficking Services Coordinator if interested in learning more about the presentations we offer.
Demand Reduction School: Not Buying It
CMSAC has developed and runs the “Not Buying It” School (a.k.a. John School) for men who commit commercial sexual exploitation offenses of buying/soliciting sex. Click HERE to learn more.
I have identified someone who may be a victim of sexual exploitation or trafficking. What should I do now?
If you know (or suspect) a person is a victim of sexual exploitation or human trafficking, please call us and make a referral. In immediate and emergency cases, please dial 911.
Our referral process is simple- just give us a call! We have many self-referrals, but also receive referrals from law enforcement, schools, mental health centers, hospitals, treatment centers, etc.
Referrals to other agencies:
- For Youth
- Safe Harbor Housing, Navigator & Supportive Service Referral (for youth only)
- For Adults