Human Trafficking Awareness Webinars

Monthly webinars related to human trafficking topics will be scheduled on the last Tuesday of each month.

Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, the 5th Annual Symposium on Human Trafficking, Immigration, Child Protection, and Domestic Violence will be rescheduled for May 2021.

Strategies to Fund and Sustain Your Anti-Trafficking Work

January 19, 2021 2:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)


Pandemics and Human Trafficking: A COVID-19 Update

January 26, 2021 10:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)


Lessons Learned from Delaware’s Human Trafficking Treatment Court & Overview of Other Types of Court Programs for Victims/Survivors of Trafficking

January 26, 2021 02:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)


NEW: Dual-Credit Certificate in Human Trafficking Awareness

Relevant Certificate offering from WilmU

Wilmington University Human Trafficking Symposium

For Additional Information, Please Contact Dr. Johanna Bishop, Director of Behavioral Science Programs –

Upcoming Webinars


2 PM
“Strategies to Fund and Sustain Your Anti-Trafficking Work”

Presenters: Alyse Altenburg, Sarah Ohlsen, & Susan Williams

SESSION DESCRIPTION: Human trafficking victims experience a unique and complex set of needs to help restore their lives. Specialized services to victims of human trafficking, including labor trafficking as well as sex trafficking, and providing services for domestic victims as well as those who have been trafficked into the US from distant places, requires assistance and services that currently may not exist. This session will explain the process of seeking grant funding to develop assistance and services for victims of human trafficking. While the federal grant application process may seem overwhelming, this session divides the steps into manageable actions, offering insight and answering participant questions. Based on the process to apply for Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) human trafficking grants and funding, attendees can expect to learn about funding opportunities from OVC, grant proposal writing tips, and strategies for meeting the federal match requirement.


  • Review the federal grant application process.
  • Explore victim services funding opportunities from the Office of Victims of Crime.
  • Discuss grant proposal writing tips.
  • Examine strategies for meeting the federal match requirement.

Presenter Bio: Alyse Altenburg is a grants management specialist with the Office for Victims of Crime, U.S. Department of Justice. Ms. Altenburg joined the Department of Justice as a Presidential Management Fellow in 2015 and currently works in the Human Trafficking Division. In this role, she manages a wide range of victim services grants and is a contracting officer representative managing acquisitions and contracts for the Department. Ms. Altenburg has a Masters of Arts degree in Applied Sociology from the University of Maryland Baltimore County, and dual bachelor degrees in Sociology and Spanish from Gonzaga University. Upon graduation from Gonzaga University, Ms. Altenburg served for two years in the United States Peace Corps working in Peru as a reproductive health educator.

Presenter Bio: Sarah Ohlsen has spent over 14 years developing and implementing victim-focused programs. She currently works as the director of victim resources for the National Center for Victims of Crime. Previously, she served at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children where she worked on over 24,000 cases of alleged child sexual exploitation. At the Multnomah County Oregon’s Department of Community Justice, Victims Services Unit, Sarah oversaw the service programs, including the jurisdictions sex trafficking taskforce.

Presenter Bio: Susan Williams is a nationally recognized victims’ services expert. During her 24 years with the U.S. Department of Justice, Susan served as a deputy director in the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), enhancing the country’s response to all forms of crime victimization and overseeing OVC’s human trafficking programs. She also served as an associate director in the Office on Violence Against Women.


10 AM
“Pandemics and Human Trafficking: A COVID-19 Update”

Presenters: Claudine Wiant, J.D. & Johanna Bishop, Ed.D., Director of Behavioral Science Programs

SESSION DESCRIPTION: How has COVID-19 impacted human trafficking and to what extent does a social disruptor, such as a pandemic, put more people at risk for trafficking? Human traffickers exploit the chaotic environment of disasters, such as a pandemic, which leads to pornography, and sex trafficking, tricking youths into forced prostitution, falsely promising housing relief in exchange for ‘services,’ and/or coercing people into forced labor. In addition, as the spread of the pandemic and government mandated ‘stay-at-home’ orders close schools and place more children in online environments, children and youths in front of computer screens become prey for online traffickers trolling the internet. This session will present the latest data known about the effects of COVID-19 on human trafficking, inform the audience about online predator dangers, and discuss the challenges in identifying trafficking victims.


  • Review the risk factors for human trafficking.
  • Examine how the pandemic increases trafficking risks for vulnerable adults.
  • Examine how the pandemic increases the trafficking risks to youths and children.
  • Analyze the challenges of identifying trafficking victims.

Presenter Bio: Claudine Malone, J.D. is the Director of Programming for the Beau Biden Foundation for the Protection of Children. She develops and conducts presentations and training for adults and children on how to recognize, intervene, and most of all, prevent child sexual abuse.

Claudine is a retired police sergeant after twenty years of service with New Castle County Police, during which she was assigned as a family services unit detective, crime prevention supervisor, media coordinator, and also served as a mediator and crisis negotiator.

After retiring, Claudine became a Title IX Civil Rights Investigator and Clery Compliance Coordinator for Wilmington University. During her time there, she earned her M.S. in Administration of Justice. She began volunteering for the Foundation in 2015 as a Stewards of Children Facilitator until offered a position there in 2017.

Claudine holds a Juris Doctor degree from the Delaware Law School, and also volunteers as a certified Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). She is the mother of three sons.

Presenter Bio: Dr. Johanna Bishop is Director of Behavioral Science Programs at Wilmington University and has been the founder and director of the annual human trafficking symposium. Since 2016 Johanna has gathered community expertise to share knowledge and practice to call attention to human trafficking, immigration, child abuse, and domestic violence in society. She developed the undergraduate certificate program in Human Trafficking Awareness and a graduate course in Responding to Human Trafficking. She is also working to develop a graduate certificate program in Human Trafficking Studies. Johanna earned her doctorate in Human Resource Development/ Human & Organizational Learning at The George Washington University, Master of Science in Education, Master of Science in Human Resource Management, from Wilmington College and is currently working on earning a degree in the Administration of Human Justice with a concentration in Criminal Behavior and a focus on Human Trafficking at Wilmington University. Johanna is a lifetime member of the International Sociological Association and the Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology, and has presented sessions about human trafficking at national conferences. She has been recognized by Applied Worldwide and is featured as a profile of Applied and Clinical Sociologists on the Association for Applied and clinical Sociology website for her applied sociological work. In addition, Wilmington University has been recognized as one of the top 5 schools at which to study human trafficking through the undergraduate Certificate in Human Trafficking Awareness program. Johanna has served on the Board of the Association for Applied & Clinical Sociology and editorial review board of the Journal of Applied Social Science. Johanna also serves as New Castle County Ethics Commissioner.

2 PM
“Lessons Learned from Delaware’s Human Trafficking Treatment Court & Overview of Other Types of Court Programs for Victims/Survivors of Trafficking”

Presenters: Probation Officer Debra Mason, D.SocSci, and Court of Common Pleas Commissioner Mary McDonough

SESSION DESCRIPTION: As an alternative to the prior approach of a revolving door of arrests and guilty pleas leading to probation/fines for prostituted women and men, a treatment court program started in Delaware in 2012. It drew upon help from State and non-profit agencies, but with no grant funding until the last two years of its operation, which enabled it to hire a part-time coordinator.

During the five years of its operation, many lessons were learned including the fact that we were actually dealing with trafficking victims, even if those being exploited did not self-identify as such. The most important lessons learned were taught by the trafficking victims/survivors themselves! This session will discuss the Delaware Human Trafficking Court treatment program and the lessons learned. It will also provide an overview of various types of treatment court programs designed to help trafficking victims/survivors.


The topics will include:

  • Challenges of starting and operating a Human Trafficking (HT) Court treatment program
  • Importance of coordination with community partners, including State & non-profit agencies
  • Perspectives of a Probation Officer & Judicial Officer – in their different roles
  • Lessons learned including those from the HT victims/survivors
  • Role of Stigma attached to prostitution & even, trafficking
  • An overview of innovative approaches for court programs designed to help HT victims/survivors

Presenter Bio: Debra Mason works with the Department of Correction as a Senior Probation and Parole Officer. She helped Com. McDonough start the only Human Trafficking Treatment Court program that has operated in the State of Delaware. Dr. Mason has also completed numerous trainings relating to trauma informed care, an essential component of such treatment courts. Throughout her career, Dr. Mason has worked closely with treatment providers and the courts in an effort to draw attention to this group of criminal justice-involved people. Dr. Mason graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) with a BA in Sociology and her Master’s Degree in Sociology from IUP. In 2020, she earned her Doctorate of Social Science from Wilmington University, where she teaches as an adjunct instructor for the Behavioral Science program.

Presenter Bio: Commissioner Mary McDonough is a judicial officer in Delaware’s Court of Common Pleas (CCP). In 2012, she started a treatment court to help trafficking victims/survivors. At the time, it was one of 12 such post-adjudication treatment courts in the country. The DE treatment court program was ended in 2017, but Com. McDonough’s concern about human trafficking continues. She serves on the Delaware Human Trafficking Interagency Coordinating Council, and Wilmington University’s Human Trafficking Advisory Board. She also teaches Human Trafficking courses at Wilmington University and the University of Delaware. Com. McDonough has worked in the government and non-profit sectors, including as director of Community Legal Aid Society, director of the Delaware Department of Justice’s Consumer Protection Unit, and as director of the Delaware Division of Long-Term Care Residents Protection. She also worked as a federal prosecutor and as a Nominations Counsel for the United States Senate Judiciary Committee. Com. McDonough currently serves as a board member of Mother Theresa House, a residential program for people with HIV/AIDS. She graduated from the University of Delaware and from New York University School of Law.