We had our first survivor in the house for 5 days before she chose to go back to her pimp. This is all a part of the process. Knowing that doesn't make it any easier but it was the longest she had been out of the life since she entered it. These are the steps we have to take and this was a big step forward. Most homes will take a lady in 9 times or more before they finally leave the life. We couldn't do it without your support and for that we are very thankful.
Other notes of interest. We have received many calls in the past few weeks from people needing a place to recover and like minded groups that want to place people with us. This is very exciting knowing that we will be at full capacity in the next few weeks. For those of you that don't know we are an 18+ female facility. We will accept women with children as well. They must have custody and court approval if needed. We are starting dialogue with a group that houses children and are hoping we can work together to create a program that will give them the needed skills that can benefit kids affected by trafficking. That brings me to the elephant in the room that few groups are able to help. Males. We have had three calls for housing of men and boys in the last week. The men we were able to get into a program that was not trafficking specific but we did find them safety. There was also some boys under the age of 12 that had been trafficked for quite some time. They are now in a safe place. We need a facility for these individuals. The options for female adult and minor are slim but the options for men and boys is almost non-existent.
Due to the trauma that a trafficking victim endures it is unwise to place them with individuals with other issues. It never works out well. They cannot attend school with regular children because they are now different because of sick, twisted individuals that prey upon them. During a placement situation, I always want to find them a sex trafficking specific group that understands the gamut of things that are to come. You can tell a Domestic Violence (DV) center what is coming their direction. But if they have not specifically dealt with it or spoken to survivors there is going to be a set of problems that no one can plan for. They are placed in mental institutions, halfway houses, group homes and prisons and the real issues are never unpacked. These people do not need to be thrown away they need to be healed.
We will continue our march toward more housing units for these victims. We want to serve all those that are hurting.