Melissa Martinez

Clinical Director

Human Trafficking Unit, New York County District Attorney’s Office

Melissa Martinez is the Clinical Director of the Human Trafficking Unit at the New York County District Attorney’s Office. With over a decade of experience, Melissa began her journey in 2009 as a Victim Advocate, providing crucial support to individuals affected by crimes like domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, and kidnapping. Transitioning her focus to combat sex and labor trafficking in 2010, Melissa pursued further education, earning her Master of Social Work (MSW) from the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College while continuing her full-time role.

Melissa played a pivotal role in establishing the survivor-centered Human Trafficking Unit at the Office. As its inaugural social worker, she collaborated closely with prosecutors, pioneering the integration of social work and victim advocacy into the investigation and prosecution of human trafficking cases. Melissa, in her capacity as a licensed clinical social worker, has worked with thousands of trafficked survivors, along with other vulnerable victim populations. Beyond her office duties, Melissa is widely respected as an authority in her field, delivering impactful lectures on human trafficking and victim-centered prosecutions. Additionally, she provides comprehensive training sessions to diverse stakeholders, including prosecutors, law enforcement, educators, service providers, and child protective services.

In 2022, Melissa was selected as a Presidential Leadership Scholar and later was appointed to serve on the alumni committee.