Our dedicated team in the Dominican Republic assists law enforcement in rescuing children from sexual exploitation and human trafficking and ensuring perpetrators are held accountable for their crimes.
Agents in the Dominican Republic have a dynamic range of expertise ranging from undercover investigation to trauma-informed victim interviews. The tightly-knit team of men and women employs their skills daily alongside partners in law enforcement, the prosecutor’s office and local child welfare services (CONANI).
Agents work on various cases in the Dominican Republic, including human trafficking and sex crimes. These cases are filled with heartbreaking scenarios.
Young boys and girls are the victims of incest and rape. Teenagers and young women from neighbouring countries are lured to the Dominican with job offers, then held captive and sold for sex. Young girls are deceived by older men and then sexually and physically abused under the guise of a “relationship”. Girls struggling in poverty find jobs in bars where their bodies are sold and abused for a few dollars.
Agents face heartbreaking scenarios with hope and a relentless passion to make the future brighter.
One of our female agents, a licensed psychologist, assists in victim interviews for rape cases. She uses these interviews to collect the evidence necessary to press charges and gently help survivors in the immediate aftermath of their trauma. She has contributed her expertise and calm demeanour to over 20 cases this year, completing about three per month and interviewing child survivors ages three to 17.
Other cases managed by our team include labour trafficking, sex trafficking and other forms of sexual exploitation, including child marriage. Trafficking cases can be complex as many trafficking rings are cautious and connected, making them hard to investigate. Some trafficking cases might take up to a year to complete.
The case assistance rescue agents provide ranges from tedious hours spent in a hot car surveilling a suspect’s house to pretending to be pedophiles themselves and arranging a pimp to bring minors to get undercover video evidence of the exchange.
One of our female agents with a police background does undercover work for the prosecutor’s office. She has played a key role in multiple raids by helping strategize the best way for an arrest to go down. Undercover and already on-scene, she texts information to the colonels so they can give the ‘go’ signal at the optimal moment.
We use our agents’ broad range of expertise to provide the resources necessary to help law enforcement rescue as many children as possible in the Dominican Republic.
Three of our agents have law enforcement backgrounds, and the entire team fosters strong relationships with multiple agencies in the area. Agents attend specialized training alongside law enforcement and work with officers from the prosecutor’s office as well as ICE agents.
We also have built strong relationships with CONANI, a government-run child welfare agency, and non-government Christian aftercare shelters.
Government social workers manage survivors’ placement and their next steps after rescue in the Dominican Republic. Social workers might reunite the child with his or her family or place them in an aftercare shelter.
Our team will sometimes assist with post-rescue logistics. Agents might contact various shelters to find an open bed and program that fits a child’s needs. We also provide transportation to the shelters as needed.
While it is hard to describe a typical day for our team in the Dominican Republic, their efforts are all marked by creativity, patience and professionalism as they leverage their specialties to rescue kids.
Agents in the Dominican have been known to go all out for a case, such as the time one agent created a fake rapper identity to rescue a 14-year-old girl and arrest her abuser. The team also utilises a dynamic range of disguises and cover stories to complete surveillance work undetected. Using their collective ingenuity, they brainstorm ideas that would give them a reason to walk around an area without drawing suspicion.
So far this year, our team in the Dominican Republic has assisted in almost 40 cases and rescued over 100 people, including 34 children. You can empower these continued efforts and rescue the next child.