What is Safe Harbor for All?
“Criminalization is not the answer. We need a system where women can report exploiters and johns and not fear being penalized in the process. Women can be offered services, but not forced to choose between arrest or services. Women testifying against their exploiters need to have the ability to use pseudonyms. Women who don’t identify as trafficking victims, which is their right through self-determination, should not be turned away from support of law enforcement.”
-Mallory, Survivor, Advocate (The Life Story, 2018)
Safe Harbor for All is a movement, the name of a report, and a series of legislative policies.
Movement: a grassroots movement to end the criminalization of survivors, hold exploiters accountable, advocate safety, open doors, and create communities free of sexual exploitation in Minnesota and beyond. The Implementation Task Force (SH4All-ITF) is a coalition of individuals who meet monthly to steer the movement forward.
Safe Harbor for All is a growing movement of people who stand and declare that sexual exploitation is a violation of human rights against people of all ages. We must end the criminalization of adult survivors and have quality services/housing for adult victims.
All people are worthy and deserving of the basic human right to safety, dignity, and to live a life free of exploitation and sexual violence. No exceptions.
Minnesota’s passage of Safe Harbor for All (SH4All) legislation would create a paradigm shift that will have a ripple effect across the nation, as we set the precedent of a socially-just approach to end sexual exploitation.
Report: In 2017, the Minnesota Legislature requested that a statewide strategic assessment of sex trafficking/prostitution in Minnesota be conducted to identify and address the lived experiences of adults. The Advocates for Human Rights, the University of Minnesota Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center, and Rainbow Research developed and implemented the strategic planning assessment and released the 2018 Safe Harbor for All: Results from a Statewide Strategic Planning Process in Minnesota, which compiled the findings of this historic assessment.
The Safe Harbor for All report engaged close to 300 survivors and stakeholders and contains 19 recommendations. Close to 40% of those interviewed in the report had lived experience of being sexually exploited. These recommendations include reforming Minnesota statutes to a partial decriminalization model: end the criminalization of adults being sexually exploited/prostituted, retain criminal penalties for those who are buying or trafficking victims.
The report also includes a comprehensive list of housing, services, and support needed to assist those, of all ages, who have been harmed through sexual exploitation/trafficking.
Legislative policy: this policy would reform current statutes to a partial decriminalization model to address commercial sexual exploitation as recommended in the Safe Harbor for All report. This includes not only a legal change, but implementation of the other 19 recommendations of the report related to funding and survivor-centered and culturally specific support services and housing for adult survivors. In addition, continuing prevention efforts, training professionals, protocol development, and social norms change affirming prostitution/sexual exploitation as sexual violence and oppression.
“People with lived experience [in prostitution] suffer significant harms under the existing, fully criminalized system”
– Safe Harbor for All report
(Martin, et. al., 2018, p. 136)
The goal of Safe Harbor 4 All is to truly make Minnesota the first state with safe harbor for all survivors.
Safe Harbor 4 All FAQ: http://www.sh4all.org/resources.html