In a year when several massive sex trafficking rings have broken into the news, there’s the important question of what next, what now? The solution for women (the primary victims/survivors of international sex trafficking) has to be a holistic multifaceted approach. Why? Because they need it. They need a safe place to sleep, a safe place to learn, they need to hear from other survivors so they know they are not alone, and a job.
A place like Orangewood Foundation’s brand new The Lighthouse Program (in California) helps young women who were once sex trafficked to resume education goals and life goals while learning how to maintain everyday life skills. Their success story girl is Oree. She’s featured on their videos on YouTube.
A place like Thistle Farms Cafe (in Nashville), where they are doing so well the restaurant is getting renovations and expanding and are slated to reopen later this summer. #LoveHeals the women who begin to see their value, their intrinsic beauty as some of them hand make bath and body products utilizing what to many people is a weed, but to them represents Hope. The thistle was what Rev. Becca Stevens noticed was the only flower that bloomed in the desolate spaces these women worked when still on the streets. She has a book coming out this year, titled aptly Love Heals.
A place like My Life My Choice (Boston), where mentors who have lived “The Life” connect with young vulnerable former runaways. They can relate to them more than someone who had never walked the streets with the quota of a pimp in the back of their head, hungry, tired, feet hurting, sometimes bruised and battered, looking over their shoulder all the time.
Hope is alive, and inroads are being made all over the world.