Melissa Martinez

Clinical Director

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

Melissa Martinez is the Clinical Director of Human Trafficking at the New York County District Attorney’s Office Human Trafficking Unit. 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’s role involves delivering lectures on human trafficking and victim-centered prosecutions. Additionally, she provides training 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 is currently serving on their alumni committee.