Training Curriculum

In fiscal year 2016, GEMS trained 1,448 participants with the agency’s entirely survivor-written curriculum across 13 organizations in New York, Texas, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Missouri. In 2017 thus far GEMS has trained 477 participants across Connecticut, Kentucky, California, New Jersey, New York and North Dakota.


Phase 1: Fundamentals of Service Provision 

CSEC 101: From Learning To Impact

GEMS’ CSEC 101 is the nationally recognized OJJDP Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Community Intervention Project (CCIP) Train-the-Trainer curriculum. GEMS’ CSEC 101 course serves as the foundation for learning, understanding, and working with victims and survivors of CSEC. The training provides foundational knowledge of commercial sexual exploitation (CSE) and domestic trafficking of youth in regards to language, criminal behaviors, and market forces: supply, demand, motivation, as well as the relevance of trauma bonds to victims of CSE and domestic trafficking.The 5 module CSEC 101 curriculum provides a comprehensive overview of CSEC, including the following:

  • Understanding trauma bonds/Stockholm Syndrome
  • Identification of victims
  • Investigating CSEC
  • Best practices in programming and prevention
  • Counseling techniques for commercially sexually exploited (CSE) youth
  • Conducting assessment and intake with CSE victims
  • Criminal behaviors and market forces: supply, demand, motivation
  • Federal and local laws
  • Best practices in investigation and defense
  • Appropriate interviewing for victims and perpetrators
  • Models for court-based interventions

Additional Modules:

Module 6: Law Enforcement – Investigating CSEC Cases & Interviewing Victims
Module 7: Legal services – Working with CSEC Cases & Developing Effective Legal Strategies
Module 8: Medical Professionals – Medical & Mental Health Care of CSEC Victims

This sustainable Train-the-Trainer method prepares staff to facilitate trainings on their own. This model can be adapted to all content areas and requires a minimum two day commitment from requesting organizations.


CSEC 201:Victim, Survivor, LeaderTM (VSLTM) curriculum

GEMS’ innovative Victim, Survivor, LeaderTM (VSLTM) curriculum moves organizations past the CCIP “CSEC 101” curriculum and into specialized service provision with a survivor empowerment/leadership focus, which is at the heart of all of GEMS programming. The VSLTM curriculum is based on two foundational principles that shape and guide all of GEMS’ work: survivor leadership and Transformational Relationships, which are vital for effective youth development, particularly victims of CSEC.  In this curriculum we examine:

  • The Six Core Values of GEMS Programming

Gender Responsive

Trauma Informed

Developmentally Grounded

Strengths Based

Social Justice Oriented

Culturally Competent

  • Developing Transformational Relationships
  • Victim, Survivor, Leader Model
  • Intra-agency Response
  • Inter-agency Response
  • Survivor Leadership and Survivor-Informed Programming

GEMS’ Victim, Survivor, LeaderTM (VSLTM)  training curriculum is the centerpiece for service provision technical assistance, which we provide both on site and remotely via conference calls and webinars to address community-specific challenges and barriers associated with serving victims of CSEC.

Please note: Trainings under this package are survivor-driven and survivor-led.

CSEC 301: Survivor’s Guide to Leaving

The Survivor’s Guide to Leaving, published in 2014, is a book authored by survivors that chronicles their fears, struggles, and victories in leaving the commercial sex industry. This training is intended to provide support staff and counselors with the means to engage with youth around the book’s content and/or host preventative groups with at-risk youth.
Please note: The book is included in the cost of the training, and the trainings under this package are survivor-driven and survivor-led.

Phase 2:Specialized Modules 

How to Build a House & Make it Home: Fundamentals of Residential Programming

This training package is specifically designed to address the gaps and challenges organizations face in providing housing services for CSEC victims and survivors, and provide key strategies to
creating successful housing programs.

Court Advocacy & Best Practices in Court Intervention

Based on a track record of success and expertise in providing defender-based alternative sentencing services, GEMS “Best Practices in Court Intervention” specialized training will equip organizations with the information and skills necessary to work with girls and young women arrested for prostitution-related offenses, status offenses, and other criminal charges.

Drop-In Center Programming

GEMS’ specialized training in “Drop-In Center Programming” is a unique opportunity for agencies looking to build or innovate their own programming. The training is designed to build the capacity and understanding of service providers and agencies, around the different components of running a successful drop-in center program.

Click here to request a training or technical assistance.

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