Someplace Safe’s Safe Harbor programming supports at-risk, sexually exploited and trafficked youth age 24 and under. Someplace Safe houses both a Regional Navigator and Supportive Services Regional Youth Advocate, supported by funding through the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).
Minnesota youth who engage in prostitution are viewed as victims and survivors, not criminals. They will be treated with dignity and respect, and directed to supportive services, shelter and housing that meet their needs and recognize their right to make their own choices.
Sexual exploitation of youth in Minnesota is commonly overlooked, misidentified as something else and undocumented.
Find more information on Safe Harbor HERE, and view the Safe Harbor Services Map
Download An Evaluation of the Safe Harbor Initiative in Minnesota – Phase 4 (PDF) (All findings focus on the Safe Harbor network and activities between April 1, 2019, and June 30, 2021)
What is Sexual Exploitation?
Minor Commercial Sexual Exploitation occurs when someone under the age of 18 engages in commercial sexual activity. A commercial sexual activity occurs when anything of value or a promise of anything of value (e.g., money, drugs, food, shelter, rent, or higher status in a gang or group) is given to a person by any means in exchange for any type of sexual activity. A third party may or may not be involved.
Safe Harbor supportive services provide victim-centered services specifically designed to heal the trauma experienced by Minnesota’s sexually exploited youth. Someplace Safe offer services in a variety of ways, depending on culture, gender, and the needs of the region, ensuring that services are easily accessed by youth.
No Wrong Door
No Wrong Door is a comprehensive, multidisciplinary, and multi-state agency approach. It ensures communities across Minnesota have the knowledge, skills and resources to effectively identify sexually exploited and at-risk youth. Youth are provided with victim-centered trauma-informed services and safe housing. To learn more about Safe Harbor and No Wrong Door implementation, please visit https://www.health.state.mn.us/communities/safeharbor/
For more information on Supportive Services please click here
For more information regarding the Regional Navigator please click here
Definitions and Statutes
Sex Trafficking: Minnesota Statute 609.321 subd. 7b 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).’
Sex Trafficking: Federal Definition Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) defines severe forms of trafficking in persons as - sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, force, or coercion or in which the person induced to perform such act is not 18. Sex trafficking means the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act"*. (Commercial sex act – any sex act on account of which anything of value is given to or received by any person).
Minor Commercial Sexual Exploitation: Working Definition. MCSE occurs when someone under the age of 18 engages in commercial sexual activity. A commercial sexual activity occurs when anything of value or a promise of anything of value (e.g., money, drugs, food, shelter, rent, or higher status in a gang or group) is given to a person by any means in exchange for any type of sexual activity. A third party may or may not be involved.2
Sexually Exploited Youth Legal Definition Minnesota Statute 260C.007 subd. 31 defines ‘sexually exploited youth’ as ‘an individual who: is alleged to have engaged in conduct which would, if committed by an adult, violate any federal, state, or local law relating to being hired, offering to be hired, or agreeing to be hired by another individual to engage in sexual penetration or sexual conduct’, is a victim of criminal sexual conduct including sexual assault, or is a sex trafficking victim.
In 2011, Minnesota passed Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Youth legislation that decriminalized prostitution offenses for youth under 18. In 2013, Minnesota authorized funds to assist sexually exploited youth. In July 2016, the age for youth to access these specialized services increased to 24.
Safe Harbor is driven following principles:
- Sexually exploited youth are victims not offenders and should be treated with dignity and respect;
- Sexual exploitation can be prevented;
- Youth should not feel isolated, trapped or coerced while receiving services;
- Youth have a right to privacy and self-determination;
- Services will be based in the Positive Youth Development approach;
- Community members and professionals must be trained to identify sexual exploitation and how to respond;
- Services must be responsive to the needs of individual youth;
- Services must be client-centered, trauma-informed, and culturally inclusive;
- No Wrong Door will be tailored to each regions’ needs and resources.
Someplace Safe asks that all training requests be made at least two weeks prior to the training date. Fees may apply.
If you would like to request a professional training from Someplace Safe, please complete the Request Form below.
Training & Education Request Form
*Specialized training may be available to help accommodate your business or organizational training needs. Costs may vary depending on your individual needs.
For more specific information or questions, contact us at email@example.com. Please allow time for a staff person to respond.