June 13 – 16, 2018
Project: Strengthening the Combat Against Trafficking and Gender-Based Violence
No. of Visitors: 6
Namaste! That’s hello in Hindi. The World Affairs Council hosted international visitors from India on June 14-16th. They came as part of the State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) to cultivate lasting relationships between current and emerging foreign leaders and their American counterparts through short-term visits to the United States. The meetings reflect the participants’ professional interests and support the foreign policy goals of the United States. This group of visitors from India included police commissioners, broadcast journalists, child rights activists, and heads of NGO organizations dedicated to preventing human trafficking in children.
The delegates came on a program called Strengthening the Combat Against Trafficking and Gender-Based Violence. This project explored strategies to combat trafficking and gender-based violence in the United States, efforts to sensitize government officials and law enforcement to the needs of the abused, and strategies to support and protect survivors of abuse.The project also examined civil society efforts to support victims of gender violence as well as legal efforts to prosecute perpetrators.The objectives of the visit included:
- Reviewing best practices for combating trafficking and preventing gender-based violence;
- Discussing techniques to identify forms of gender-based abuse, report abuse, prosecute abusers, and provide assistance and protection to victims of gender-based violence;
- Improving understanding about how social developments, such as economic opportunities, education, entrepreneurship, political participation, and leadership, can serve as tools for combating violence; and
- Examining education and outreach initiatives which focus on women’s legal rights, the responsibility of men and boys to avoid perpetuating gender-based violence, and combating trafficking in persons.
The delegates came from Washington, D.C. where they had their first set of meetings. While in Louisville, they met with the Center for Women and Families, the Mary Byron project and Appriss Safety, the Kristy Love Foundation, and held a roundtable discussion with members of the Louisville Metro Police Department and the Kentucky Office of the Attorney General.
An interesting meeting in Louisville included their visit to the Mary Byron Project and Appriss Safety. Originally known as Interactive Systems and The VINE Company, Appriss was founded by Mike Davis and Yung Nguyen. The two worked with Jefferson County, Kentucky government officials to develop the nation’s first automated victim information and notification system after the murder of Mary Byron by her former boyfriend in 1993. The idea that her life could have perhaps been saved if the family could have been notified when the offender was being released from jail inspired the creation of VINE, the nation’s most widely used automated victim notification platform. Now, thousands of communities in nearly every state have adopted Appriss technology and services. Yung Nguyen also serves on the board of the Mary Byron Project. The Mary Byron Project was established in 2000 in memory of the young woman whose tragic murder led to the creation of automated crime victim notification technologies. As a nationally recognized thought leader on domestic violence, the Mary Byron Project cultivates and supports efforts that extend beyond crisis management to attack the root causes of this epidemic and help build safer, healthier communities. After this meeting, our delegates received the opportunity to tour Appriss Victim Services Representatives, where Appriss Safety receives and responds to all calls.
The delegates were also inspired by their meeting with the Kristy Love Foundation. The Kristy Love Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping victims of prostitution & human trafficking. The foundation provides shelter and case management leading women to better health care, education, and employment. Kristy Love’s Director, Angela, is a survivor of human trafficking. During the meeting, Angela shared her story with the group, explaining how
her personal experience leads her to run her foundation differently than other organizations in Louisville.
On Saturday, June 16th, the delegates left Louisville and flew to Reno, Nevada. They will also be staying in Orlando, Florida and Boston, Massachusetts during the rest of their stay in the United States.