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Course Supports Child Exploitation Investigators

3C Institute is excited to collaborate with The Innocent Justice Foundation (TIJF) on a course designed to provide mental health support to law enforcement officers, forensic analysts, and judicial personnel investigating and prosecuting child exploitation and trafficking cases. The disturbing images and videos these individuals encounter daily as part of their work put them at risk of developing vicarious trauma, or trauma that results from hearing about or witnessing another person’s trauma.

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TIJF seeks to enhance its already successful efforts to provide psycho-education, training, and support programs to both the individuals working directly with child sexual abuse and pornography cases, as well as their families and friends, who may not fully understand the impact of working in such an emotionally demanding field.

Through a partnership with the Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force Commanders, as well as collaboration with mental health experts, TIJF developed the Supporting Heroes in Mental Health Foundational Training (SHIFT). SHIFT helps individuals who are at risk of or are already experiencing symptoms of vicarious trauma to recognize those symptoms and address them before they become severe or permanent. TIJF has been the training and technical assistance provider for officer wellness support and training through SHIFT since 2009.

Using its Dynamic e-Learning Platform (DeLP), 3C will partner with TIJF to develop a course that supplements TIJF’s in-person SHIFT workshops and can be used at any time by trauma-exposed individuals to “disrupt” the development of vicarious trauma symptoms, mitigate negative side effects of exposure to caustic material, and bolster resilience.

Supporting TIJF’s work and the critical efforts of the many individuals who seek to rescue exploited children and bring their abusers to justice provides 3C a unique opportunity to expand upon its mission of promoting the health and well-being of children.