23 Nov Women are getting out of the life!
What great news I have to share with you this Thanksgiving week!
SAFE’s first supported project – the new Emergency Receiving Center opened on November 3rd, and FOUR women are already being served!
The women are safe, they’re being cared for instead of exploited, and they’ve already identified goals and are working toward them. Their goals are things like:
- Finding employment,
- Connecting to support groups,
- Engaging in trauma counseling,
- Getting ID,
- Getting into outpatient treatment,
- Finding a long-term housing placement, and
- Getting legal support.
As I read through that list I thought, GETTING ID? What? Yes, it’s true. Often when women are trafficked or exploited their abusers/pimps take their identification as one more means of blackmail or exploitation. So when a woman escapes, she often leaves everything behind – including her ID.
One woman who came to the ERC described her life as feeling overwhelmingly complicated, and that she was facing struggles and traumas on all sides. During her first week at the ERC she repeatedly expressed to staff:
“This is the best thing that’s happened to me in a long time. I know you all care, and I haven’t had anyone care about me for a while.”
On behalf of the women at the ERC and our whole SAFE team, thank you for linking arms with us to fight commercial sexual exploitation in our state. We hope this early progress report encourages you and that you will invite others to stand with us for these women. They’re worth it!