USI Sexual Assault and Gender Violence Prevention group hosts human trafficking awareness presentation

Image copyright: USI Photography and Multimedia

As a part of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, the University of Southern Indiana Sexual Assault and Gender Violence Prevention Group (SAGVP) in collaboration with the Southwest Indiana Regional Coalition Against Trafficking (SIRCAT) will host Field Consultant Eric Harris, BSW, for a virtual presentation about human trafficking awareness on January 28 at 6 p.m. CST. This event is sponsored by the Indiana Trafficking Victims Assistance Program (ITVAP). The public can register for the Zoom webinar by going to

Participants will learn about:

  • Defining Human Trafficking
  • Identifying vulnerable youth populations
  • The normalization of the process (grooming)
  • Criminal Justice institutional barriers
  • Barriers to treatment
  • Overcoming stigma

Harris is a consultant and field expert in the area of human trafficking. He earned his social work degree from Anderson University in May 2020. Harris is a graduate of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Human Trafficking Leadership Academy (HTLA) cohort that addresses co-occurring disorders for survivors and he currently serves as a consultant with the Indiana Trafficking Victims Assistance Program (ITVAP) and Indiana Protection for Abused and Trafficked Humans (IPATH) statewide task force. Harris is also the co-chair for the Lived Experience Expert Working Group with the Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault and Human Trafficking (ICESAHT).

In addition to his taskforce work, Harris has participated in professional presentations statewide for the Department of Child Services (DSC) and served as a consultant for the 2020 State of Indiana Human Trafficking Report which works to address the gaps and services for the survivor population, as well as providing technical assistance for the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC). He brings his passion to advocating for survivors’ rights and working to remove the stigma surrounding male survivors with a goal of raising awareness that trafficking can happen to people of all genders and races.

For more information contact Dr. Melinda Roberts, Professor of Criminal Justice, at 812-461-5475 or

Founded in 1965, the University of Southern Indiana enrolls more than 10,700 dual credit, undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students in more than 130 areas of study. A public higher education institution, located on a beautiful 1,400-acre campus in Evansville, Indiana, USI offers programs through the College of Liberal Arts, Romain College of Business, College of Nursing and Health Professions and the Pott College of Science, Engineering, and Education. USI is a Carnegie Foundation Community Engaged University and offers continuing education and special programs to more than 20,000 participants annually through Outreach and Engagement. USI is online at