our programs

Human trafficking, the fastest growing criminal industry in the world, has strong and deep roots in Central Ohio. The Ohio Human Trafficking in Persons Study Commission estimated “that of those American-born youth in Ohio, 2,879 are at-risk for sex trafficking, and another 1,078 youth have been trafficked into the sex trade over the course of a year.” As many as 1200 solicitation arrests are made each year in Franklin County. Freedom a la Cart serves adult survivors of human sex trafficking in Central Ohio. These women have been sold as part of the commercial sex industry since the average age of 13. As a result, they suffer from extensive trauma and face obstacles to success in the traditional workplace: criminal records, arrested development, traumatic brain injuries that affect logic and memory, post-traumatic stress disorder, drug or alcohol addiction and mental health issues.

Through our three primary levels of service: 1) CATCH Court Support; 2) a robust Workforce Development Program; and 3) our Butterfly Continuum of Care program, Freedom a la Cart provides supportive services to over 400 unduplicated survivors of human trafficking each year.

CATCH Court Support

CATCH Court is a specialized docket of Franklin County Municipal Court which serves 2-year treatment-oriented non-adversarial program for individuals within the criminal justice system who are victims of human trafficking and suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome, depression, and drug addiction. CATCH exists to break the cycle of abuse for victims of human trafficking, prostitution, and sexual exploitation by providing resources, community, and accountability.

In strong partnership with CATCH Court, Freedom a la Cart immediately begins providing supportive services to participants and building meaningful relationships with a foundation of trust. Freedom staff, mentors and volunteers practice an unwavering commitment to survivors through deliberate and resilient outreach, impactful services, social activities and intentional connection.

This program video was financially assisted by the Ohio State Bar Foundation.

Additional thanks to Eggert Media for their partial in-kind sponsorship of this project.

Workforce Development

We believe that women who’ve been exploited through the commercial sex industry should be empowered to gain freedom through personal and economic independence. So Freedom offers survivors the opportunity to gain comprehensive life skills training AND workforce development in a safe environment that understands the complex trauma endured and supports their continual journey of restoration. Our comprehensive workforce development program includes paid employment along with supportive services like: resource (case) management; job coaching; soft skills training; social connection; trauma counseling; savings incentives and financial literacy. By addressing this link between impact services, community, and employment, survivors are able to build a life of independence. Our goal is to prepare survivors for personal and economic stability, train them for jobs in the community and link them directly with employers.

Survey results show that the women in our workforce development program are gaining personal confidence; increasing their ability to manage money; planning for their future by setting goals; improving time management skills; learning to communicate effectively and stay calm in situations where they feel stressed, angry or afraid; maintaining a positive attitude at work and in their personal lives; and becoming more self-sufficient.

Freedom a la Cart has provided job training to over 100 survivors – 91 of those in the last six years of which 84% have not received any new criminal charge since participating in our program.

Butterfly Continuum of Care

Given the impact of the repeated and intrusive trauma experienced by sex trafficking victims, it is not surprising that after short-term treatment some survivors continue to experience difficulties maintaining sobriety, obtaining and holding down a job, paying bills, and reintegrating back into society.

A growing body of research is showing numerous community benefits of peer-based support including: significant healthcare savings; improved social functioning; improved family relationships; improved quality of life; increased employment; reduced substance use; reduced depression and demoralization; and improved chance for long-term recovery. Freedom’s Butterfly Program fills a gap for human trafficking survivors in recovery by offering a community of long-term support with resources and tools to advance their lives as productive members of society.

Services provided include:

  • independent living assistance (connection to resources, furnishings for home)
  • employment coaching
  • peer-to-peer survivor support group meetings
  • social gatherings focused on community building
  • life skills workshops
  • education mentors
  • educational or vocational training funding assistance
  • driver’s license reinstatement assistance
  • tattoo removal
  • case management (resource management) services for navigating resources to advance their lives
  • crisis assistance (relapse, eviction, job loss, loss of government support, death of loved one). When a human trafficking survivor experiences a personal crisis, FALC offers assistance to help her pick up the pieces and get back on the road to recovery.

This program was financially assisted by the Ohio State Bar Foundation.

Additional thanks to Eggert Media for their partial in-kind sponsorship of this project.

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