For All Seasons is part of the Governor’s initiative, the Maryland Regional Navigator Program, serving human trafficking victims under the age of 24 in the Mid-Shore of Maryland. Although For All Seasons has been working with victims of human trafficking for years, this program connects its new Human Trafficking Navigator, Susan Ahlstrom, with experts across the state to better support human trafficking victims on the Mid-Shore.
Ahlstrom brings experience as a mental health and wellness counselor and is a Certified EFT/Tapping Practitioner, most recently working as the T.A.M.A.R. (Trauma, Addiction, Mental Health, and Recovery) Coordinator for female detainees at the Dorchester and Caroline County Detention Centers. She has over 25 years of experience working in nonprofit development, community building, education, and youth advocacy. She holds a Master of Science in Counseling from the University of Hartford and a Bachelor of Arts in English from William Smith College in New York.
“I hope to help mitigate the upward trend in Human Trafficking by expanding For All Seasons Rape Crisis Center’s outreach; and strengthening the medical, legal, social service, and mental health collaboration that has already been established to support survivors. I believe my counseling and education background, along with strong communication and networking skills will help facilitate the most effective trauma-informed response to serve victims and their families in the Mid-Shore region and beyond,” Ahlstrom comments.
Human trafficking involves using force, fraud, or threats to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act against a person’s will, often for little or no pay, or something of value such as food, shelter, clothes, or drugs. It is a crime whereby traffickers exploit and profit at the expense of adults or children. All persons under age 18 who exchange sex for something of value are human-trafficking victims regardless of the presence of force, lies, or threats. A child cannot legally consent to commercial sex.
The Eastern Shore is an attractive place for trafficking because of its geographic location in proximity to transportation routes by land, air, and sea that offer opportunities for human traffickers to go undetected. Major highways like I-95, Routes 40, 50, 301, and 13 all make transporting victims and meeting buyers easy. In addition, three major international airports, inexpensive bus transportation, train service, and a high rate of seasonal work, make Maryland attractive to human traffickers.
To learn about how to identify possible human trafficking victims, the industries where human trafficking most likely occurs, and ways to help, visit WeSupportSurvivors.org. If you would like more information or would like to request an anti-human trafficking presentation for your place of work or community, email Susan Ahlstrom at [email protected].
For All Seasons provides the highest quality mental health and victim services to children, adults, and families across Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Services are offered in both English and Spanish and include therapy, psychiatry, victim advocacy, 24-hour crisis hotlines, outreach, and community education. For information about For All Seasons walk-in hours, contact For All Seasons at 410-822-1018 or visit ForAllSeasonsInc.org.