Polaris 1.2/5 (5)
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Website: http://www.polarisproject.org/(info)

Address: Washington, District of Columbia, United States
Countries served: United States
Geographic scope: National

Phone: 888-373-7888
Email: [email protected]
Facebook: polarisproject
Twitter: @Polaris_Project
EIN (Guidestar profile): 03-0391561

Type: Anti-trafficking
Status: Active
Faith-based: Yes
Adult focused (NSFW): No
Sex work positive: No
Female led: Yes
Sex worker led: No

About Polaris

Started in 2003 –

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

DC Human Trafficking Task Force

National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC)

Public facts about Polaris

Revenue

2012 – $5,647,686.00 (Salaries Paid – $3,316,561.00)

Polaris also received in excess of 4 Million dollars in “donated services and use of facilities” for a Gross Revenue in 2012 of over 9 Million Dollars.

Their tax form also stated they had a total of $4,910,582 in the fund balance at the end of the year. 2012 is the last IRS 990 that was available to view.

Entire IRS Form 990 viewable here – (http://www.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2013/030/391/2013-030391561-0a898294-9.pdf)

2011 – $7,290,383.00 (Salaries Paid – $2,574,587.00)

People involved with Polaris

Executive Management Team

Bradley Myles | Chief Executive Officer

Alan Landis | Chief Operating Officer

Sarah Jakiel | Chief Programs Officer

Nicole Levine | Chief Business Development Officer

Ms. Levine was paid in excess of $40,000.00 in 2012for raising funds for Polaris)

National Human Trafficking Resource Center

Nicole Moler | Director of the National Human Trafficking Resource Center

Lara Powers | Hotline Manager

Vanessa Chauhan | Program Specialist

Leah Meyer | Program Specialist

Jenna Novak | Program Specialist

Courtney Walsh | Program Specialist

Ayan Ahmed | Program Associate

Candace Freeman | Operations Coordinator

Additional Staff: Hotline Supervisors & Call Specialists

Client Services

Washington, DC

Carolina De Los Rios, Ph.D. | Director of Client Services

Ngozi Williams | DC Associate Case Manager

New Jersey

Kaitlyn Keisel | Director of Polaris New Jersey

Gabriela Celeiro, LSW | NJ Social Worker

Sophia Lane | New Jersey Statewide Coordinator

Meagan Jensen | NJ Operations Associate

Government Relations and Public Policy

Keeli Sorensen | Director of Government Relations and Public Policy

Advisory Services

Audrey Roofeh | Director of Advisory Services

Elizabeth Pfenning | Human Trafficking Advisory Specialist

Valerie Schmitt | Human Trafficking Advisory Specialist

Data Analysis Program

Jennifer Kimball | Data Analysis Director

Tessa Couture | Analyst

Brittany Anthony | Data Associate

Sara Crowe | Data Coordinator

Idris Evans | Program Associate

Campaigns

Kathleen Davis | Director of Campaigns

Elizabeth Kim | Campaigner

Global Hotlines Program

Corey Oser | Director of Programs, Global Hotlines

My Lo | Asia Regional Manager

Danielle Johnson | Global Hotlines Program Specialist

Madison Boggs | Global Research Associate

Public Outreach and Communications

Megan Fowler | Director of Communications

Brandon Bouchard | Senior Media Relations Officer

Mary Ann Badavi | Digital Communications Specialist

Operations and Finance

Alfonso Wright | Director of Finance

Michelle Williams | Director of Talent Management

Matthew Bradley | Technology Architect

Charles Koppelman-Milstein | Technology Developer

Lionel Luis | Technologist

Morgan Hultquist | Operations Associate

Ethan Bennett | Technology Associate

Development

Anne Snouck-Hurgronje | Director of Development

Aaron Martin | Grant Officer

Jessica Raven | Individual Giving Officer

Abigail Stallworth | Development Associate

Board of Directors

Thomas P. Lockerby | Chairperson

Secretary of the Academy, Phillips Academy

Elizabeth Eun | Treasurer

Partner, RAFFA P.C.

Chris Busselle

Giving Principal, Google

Joel R. Charny

Vice President for Humanitarian Policy and Practice, InterAction

John Lapham

Senior Vice President, General Counsel, Getty Images

Gail MacKinnon

Executive Vice President, Government Relations, Time Warner Cable

Catherine A. McLean

Counselor, Global Public Affairs, Porter Novelli

Sex work focus for Polaris

Street Escort

Sex worker demographics focus for Polaris

Female Trafficked

Polaris does not provide direct services to victims or survivors of Human Trafficking. They refer all services out to local organizations and law enforcement.

Services offered by Polaris

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5 comments

  1. Member of the Public says:

    Administrative expenses are out of control at 14.6% and they seem to cite statistics about sex trafficking without any evidence to back them up.

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  2. mrsrobinsoninri ( User Karma: 5 ) says:

    The effects of Polaris Project in Rhode Island by Bella Robinson

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1R6VWU0KbS47dKuGo-9Un8nodWnmJnOpw4KsLlJaMoMI/edit?usp=sharing

    The Article Big Mother is watching you: The polaris project in Rhode Island did not mention the work Bella Robinson has been doing for SexWorkers in Rhode Island over the past 5 years. So let me catch you up on what has happened since 2009.

    In March 2015 Bella attended a event at Brown University, to hear a speech by Katherine Chon who is the co-founder + president of Emerita Polaris Project + she is currently the senior advisor on the trafficking in persons, at the US department of Health & Human Services

    In her speech, Mrs Chon admits that Polaris Project, has people calling in that “self identify” because they want “out of the life” and Polaris Project has no direct services to offer them. Then she asks for donations and she says this has to be a community effort. It seems Mrs Chon is really taking this out of context because they are already getting millions in annual funding. Meanwhile they do not offer sex trafficking victims emergency shelter, nor do they have jobs that pay a living wage, and they do not offer a higher education without student loan debt. All Polaris Project does is refer these women to public shelters. Most shelters refuse to take in juvenile sex trafficking victims & they also refuse services to sex workers.

    Mrs Chon went on to say that while she was attending Brown University and she was interviewing spa workers that she had found a women who had been trafficked into the US from China + had been forced into prostitution. Even when indoor prostitution was decriminalised, “forcing someone into prostitution” was always illegal so I do wonder why Rhode Island did not have any documented trafficking cases prior to 2009. This leaves me to belief that Mrs Chon thinks “any women who migrates to work as a
    consensual adult sex worker” is the same thing as sex trafficking. Mrs Chon bragged that until she came along no US state had trafficking laws. Yet it has always been illegal to pimp out a minor or a adult, as this is referred to as “pandering” or “promoting prostitution” and it has always been illegal to “force anyone into prostitution” and we have had federal legislation that makes it a crime to cross the line for any illegal sex act, which is called The Mann Act “White Slavery Act.

    Sex workers and trafficking victims are being arrested, and their names and pictures are immediately published in the media. This can result in discrimination in housing, child custody, and banking institutes + can limit future employment.

    Criminalization of consensual adult prostitution creates stigma and violence against sex workers and trafficking victims. It also creates the perfect playground for predators and corrupt cops to continue robbing, raping, beating, exploiting and murdering sex workers. Law Enforcement refers to “prostitutes” as NHI for “No Human Involved.

    After Mrs Chon’s speech they held a Q&A that lasted about 20 minutes. When I go my turn at the microphone, I spoke for a full 5 minutes, asking several questions while not allowing Mrs Chon to reply until I was finished.
    What I said went something like this. “ Hi I want to thank you for coming out tonight. My name is Bella Robinson and I am the director of the Rhode Island Chapter of Coyote. I was featured in the 2013 award winning film “American Courtesans” as Gina Robinson. I am on the board of “The Erotic Service Providers, Legal, Education & Research Project” and I am also a member of “The Erotic Service Providers Union”
    I have worked in the Sex Industry for over 30 years and I currently work as a online escort. I go on to explain what happened when we tried to report
    a possible trafficking victim to Polaris Project, which you can read about here

    I also talked about other rescues that I have gone on. In 1 case a 22 year old women escaped a pimp but she did not trust law enforcement, so she refused to report it. The women told me that she still wanted to work as a sex worker and that she was just tired of this pimp taking all her earnings. This women was a consensual adult sex worker, who was being exploited because she did not have “equal protection under the law”.

    Then I explained how in most states that sex trafficking victims are required to prove that they are a victim. If the victim does not help the prosecutor get a conviction on a trafficker, then the victim is charged with prostitution. Some women are even being charged with trafficking themselves. Also see Kenyana’s story

    Then I explained that any illegal immigrant arrested for prostitution is told that if they won’t say that they were forced into prostitution that they will be immediately deported. The woman are told that if they help get a conviction on the “Spa Owner” (or whoever they want to charge with trafficking) that they will be allowed to stay in the USA. The woman are then kept in shelters for 2 to 3 years and they are not allowed to contact their families nor are they allowed access to cell phones. Two-thirds of these women are deported after they have endured all this, even though they are allowed to let up to 500 trafficking victims stay per year. These are the policies and legislation that Mrs Chon has helped create, and she is willing to continue purposely conflating sex trafficking with sex work.

    Criminalizing and arresting consensual adults, does not protect victims of human trafficking. It Creates a class of people with no rights, and no legal protections. It encourages violent predators to act out because they know
    nothing will happen to them. If we really want to help women and protect them from violence, we need to empower them.

    To add insult to injury none of the trafficking NGOs provide any real services to victims. The US is funding trafficking NGOs at 686 million a year and most of the money goes to “creating awareness on sex trafficking” and the rest goes to pay their board members, many who make 6 figure salaries. I invite you to go to Guide Star and look up the tax returns of trafficking NGOs, to see their salaries and how no money is being used to create services. Then I ask, why are we spending all the money and resources “spying on, stalking and arresting consensual adult sex workers” when we could be using these funds to “create affordable housing and youth services because this would reduce the number of teenagers entering the sex industry to survive. I mention that in 2014 researchers found almost 300 people that had all entered into Survival Sex as minors because they could not access shelter and other vital services from the state or federal government. Only 6% of those interviewed felt that they had been exploited and the teens taught each other how to find clients, so rarely is there a big bad phantom pimp.
    The US currently has 2.5 million homeless children.

    I ask Mrs Chon why she is advocating for more raids and vice stings to arrest more women, when they don’t even have anywhere to house them. Doesn’t she not care if these women are unable to pay their rent and feed their kids.

    After the Q&A I walked up to Mrs Chon and shook her hand and thanked her. I say to her, “I think there are 2 things we can agree on and find common ground on. I tell her we need language added to the Violence Against Women Act or VAWA putting mandatory time limits on the testing of rape kits. I tell her that we have over ½ million untested rape kits in evidence lockers in the US and that they recently tested 10,000 of them and found 100 serial rapists.
    I then tell her that police officers are allowed
    to have sex with women and then arrest them for prostitution. Mrs Chon tells me she didn’t know this.

    When you say that you “rescued” someone, that statement is about empowering and aggrandizing yourself while disempowering the person you think you rescued. This because “rescuing” creates an uneven power dynamic where the “rescuer” (read:hero) has all the power in the relationship and the rescuee” (read:the helpless victim) has no agency or role in the exit of his or her abuse.

    ALSO SEE: What happened when we tried to report a possible trafficking victims to Polaris Project in 2012

    http://legalizetoprotect.blogspot.com/2012/08/common-nightwalkers-disabled-escorts.html

  3. Pam Moore says:

    This all happened three years ago. My mom called Polaris on me and my boyfriend because she didn’t like that we were posting ads on backpage. I was mad at him because he wouldn’t let me go to my sisters birthday party so I started texting them and they called the cops on us. They arrested him and this other girl we were with abd I had to stay with these lesbians that fought the whole time I was there. I was there for almost a week before they sent me home on a bus. My mom wouldn’t let me stay with her because my boyfriends friends were really mad that he got arrested and she was afraid they were gonna do something. I was kind of afraid too. The lady from Polaris was really nice at first but she kept telling me I had to call all these other people from all these different organizations to get help and sometimes they wouldn’t answer the phone and they didn’t ever answer my questions and kept telling me I had to tell the detective who was in charge of my boyfriends case. I didn’t want him to get in trouble and I told them I wasn’t going to testify but they still gave him five years in prison. I don’t know what happened to the other girl they arrested but I never saw her again but I guess she testified in court that he was a sex trafficker.
    I couldn’t find any place to live and I was homeless for a long time. I finally got a place with another girl and we posted ads all the time and never got in trouble. The Polaris people are just a bunch of cops and they don’t really help anybody. They just keep telling you to call other people who don’t help either.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    I first contacted polaris about 2 years ago after multiple incidences of sexual assault and predatory sexual behavior, for which I was not being paid, and for distributed content creation being used without permission or pay. The organization further compromised my discretion by allowing a predatory media personality answer the phone on their behalf. To date, they have offered no financial options for me that offer similar wages to sex work, and no lawyers that have panned out. All in all, a very exploitive organization that keeps women in very bad and abusive situations.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Polaris is all about them. They do not take time to provide crisis intervention nor human trafficking training to hotline workers. Perfect example is them calling us for a referral and the scenario doesn’t meet the criteria for human trafficking but is more of a domestic violence call. Then they call you with a referral but refuse to give you contact information. How are you supposed to help a potential victim if you don’t have contact information.
    They also kept misleading and embellishing statistics nor show evidence of it. The kiss ass to All federal agencies for money. Polaris is a failure and a lie. The Feds need to wake up and see who they really are.
    MJ

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