The needs of human trafficking survivors are great. They have lived in a cycle of sex trafficking since the average age of 13. Recent estimates are that 29,100 people in Ohio are victims of trafficking every year.
Many survivors live with significant trauma, sometimes including traumatic brain injuries that damage logic and memory. They suffer with mental health challenges including depression, anxiety, CTE (a degenerative brain disease associated with repeated traumatic brain injuries) and post-traumatic stress syndrome. Many may lack basic education and face barriers around clear communication or carrying out what may be seen as “simple” tasks like making phone calls or performing basic computer functions. Survivors also emerge from trafficking into a society that turns them away. They face legal issues such as a history of evictions, suspension of driving privileges and criminal convictions. Many survivors in our programs are mothers who have lost custody of their children.
The cycle of trauma is often broken through an interaction with the criminal justice system. It is often at this point that the women first come into contact with Freedom a la Cart.
Through our four primary levels of service: 1) CATCH Court restorative justice support; 2) a robust Workforce Development Program, 3) our Butterfly Program for long-term stability, and 4) our Housing Program Freedom a la Cart expects to provide supportive services to approximately 400 survivors of human trafficking this year.
services provided include:
- independent living assistance (connection to resources, furnishings for home)
- employment coaching
- peer-to-peer survivor support group meetings
- social connection
- life skills workshops
- education tutors + 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).