Dr. M. Korzinski: Sex Trafficking Therapist Comes to HHS


Michael Korzinski, PhD, giving a presentation on human sex trafficking to Katherine Lyness’ U.S. History I and Contemporary World Affairs classes.

Olivia Meier, Community News Editor/Staff Writer

Co-founder of the Helen Bamber Foundation in London, England, and therapist to trafficking victims, Hawthorne native Michael Korzinski, PhD, came to Hawthorne High School to give a presentation on human sex trafficking to Katherine Lyness’ U.S. History I and Contemporary World Affairs classes on May 6 and 7, 2013.

According to an online press release, Korzinski has 15 years of experience in the rehabilitation of survivors of emotional and physical traumas and is recognized as an international expert in the field. He has created a renowned method for treating survivors and has written several books on the subject. He is a consultant to trauma services and non-governmental refugee programs worldwide.

Before Korzinski’s visit, Lyness’ classes had explored slavery throughout history and many were surprised to find that slavery still exists today and is, in fact, actively practiced in the United States through labor and sex trafficking. Korzinski presented statistics about this global crime that hit home: There have been 179 recent sex trafficking cases right here in New Jersey—and that’s just the small number of cases that end up in the legal system.

But Korzinski’s focus was not on the facts about this crime, but rather on the strong emotional effect this tragedy has on the victims; this is where he steps in by providing an unbiased ear and shoulder to cry on for the victims. Korzinski listens thoroughly to the victim’s story and makes sure to provide them with guidance as well as advice.

“Victims are members of society whose problems represent the memory of suffering, rage and pain, in a world that longs to forget,” said Korzinski.

Korzinski talked about his personal experiences “spent on the frontline with these young victims” and his efforts to raise awareness about this often secret subject. When he first started working with victims, Korzinski was one of the few who not only looked at what happened to the victims physically, but psychologically as well.

Korzinski was visiting his hometown of Hawthorne, from his adopted home in London, as an invited consultant to the Bloomberg administration in New York City. He had been asked to share information about his work that may be helpful to combating this crime in New York.

“Dr. Korzinski did an amazing job presenting difficult information to my students. He was able to put a human face on the issue of human trafficking which allowed my students to connect with this issue,” said Lyness.

Overall, Korzinski’s main goal while presenting to Lyness’ classes was to stimulate the students’ awareness about the subject as they continue to raise funds in support of the Polaris Project, one of the leading organizations in the global fight against human trafficking and modern-day slavery.