PROS (Providing Resources, Offering Support) is the first program in Ontario that combines holistic services with peer-led initiatives for women and girls who have experienced domestic human trafficking. PROS offers trauma counselling, case management, public health nurses, peer mentorship, legal support, and community capacity building in priority schools.
Trafficking of women and girls in Canada is viewed as the most under-reported and severe form of child sexual victimization facing youth today (Estes and Weiner 2001, 2005; Hanna 2002; Hughes 2005, Reid 2010). Stopping trafficking of children for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation has become an important objective of the Canadian Government and part of the new Canadian Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking, released in 2012.
In September 2011, a core group of local service providers met to discuss the development of a program for victims of human trafficking. With years of experience and knowledge, the group identified core integrated services that must exist to meet the needs of trafficked women and girls. With this knowledge and a commitment to developing comprehensive, empowering services, the PROS model was developed at All Saints. PROS currently receives referrals for domestically trafficked women and girls from the Special Victims Section, Sex Crimes Unit of the Toronto Police Service, and other Toronto agencies.
Children and youth in priority communities face dramatically increased rates of domestic sex trafficking due to their exposure to poverty, violence, and marginalization. PROS has designed a set of curricula, and has begun delivering presentations to teachers, school administrators, and grade 8 students in Toronto’s priority schools to enhance their knowledge of the prevention and intervention of domestic trafficking; PROS provides them with accessible resources for reporting, reducing the vulnerability of youth and contributing to their ability to work as agents of social change in their community.
PROS is fully funded via a Special Ministry Grant from the Diocese of Toronto.