Trafficking In Persons Report 2021

An article was recently posted that described the trafficking experience of a teenage girl in Ohio. The story is a must-read if you haven’t yet seen it, because it describes the full circle of a trafficking ring: vulnerabilities that make young women the focus of traffickers, a missed opportunity by the criminal justice system, the impacts of an uninformed community of how local sex trafficking works, and what life is like for a survivor on the other side of trauma, institutions, and a broken life foundation.

 

Alexis Martin has a long road of healing in front of her. She said, “I’m free from my trafficker. I’m free from prison. But I am still in a mental prison. And I’m trying to figure out if I am ever going to get out.”

 

This is a reflection of the hearts and minds of most women we work with at NH. We are beyond grateful that we see healing and progress take place through our programs, and I’m ever reminded that survivors are in a fight for their lives. Each day we have with the women at NH is a victory and one more day they are safe from exploitation.

 

The Trafficking In Persons (TIP) Report of 2021 served as a stark reminder that our work is all the more urgent and crucial as we prepare to reengage with our communities post COVID-19. It states: “The COVID-19 pandemic is a health crisis with unprecedented repercussions for human rights and economic development globally, including in human trafficking. COVID-19 generated conditions that increased the number of people who experienced vulnerabilities to human trafficking and interrupted existing and planned anti-trafficking interventions.” It is reported that because of the pandemic, there was an increased lack of “adequate anti-trafficking responses around the world, victims went unidentified, survivors were underserved, and traffickers were not held accountable.”

 

Additionally, the depth and precision of care that service providers are able to offer survivors remains the most important factor in ensuring that women have the resources to heal from their traumatic experiences and not face obstacles that would lead to re-exploitation. The TIP report recommends two imperatives in order to best meet the needs of trafficking survivors: to incorporate trauma-informed practices into anti-trafficking work and to invite survivors into leadership positions within organizations. The report states that “Organizations must incorporate the voices of multiple survivors into their trauma-informed practices.”

 

In other words, stories like Alexis Martin remind us why we do what we do. Young women are not to be treated as property, as sexual profit-makers that meet the needs of a supply chain fueled by the unhealthy sexual desires of buyers. That we all agree on. Women and girls are not for sale. Additionally, the work on the other side of commercial sexual exploitation must be strategic. It must be trauma-informed. It must be survivor-influenced. And it must be gospel-centered. The work to heal from sexual trauma and the many other factors that lead to exploitation takes time. This ministry is long-suffering and requires perseverance, both on the part of the survivor and also on the service-provider. We make a commitment to each woman we serve that her healing is unique to her and that we are not a one-size-fits-all program. She is the best advocate for her own care and is an active agent in her own recovery.

 

The TIP report affirmed for me the good work that we are doing. We’ve hired survivor leaders in our organization and are deliberate to hear the ideas, the strategies, and the vision of other survivors (not just their stories of exploitation.) Our work is trauma-informed, which is an expensive commitment, but required nonetheless. And we are expanding. Groups in Elgin launched this summer, The Gathering Place is set to open for Day Programming in September, and we’re preparing to hire a NH representative to offer service in Chicago later this year.

 

Alexis Martin and the TIP report are fuel for us to keep moving forward. We want to offer the best services to the most women. You are a part of that. You are on a team that is offering solutions and providing a pathway to life-change and healing. Thank you for blessing the women we serve and for believing that each person we work with is deserving of a new start.

 

God bless you,

 

 

 

Executive Director

Naomi's House

Why NH Is Needed More Than Ever

  • June 29, 2021
  • BY Eric Morse
  • no responses
As we prepare for the launch of The Gathering Place, we are working on new partnerships and developments to maintain our commitment to offering the very best program to survivors of commercial sexual exploitation. I recently met with JUST, an organization that works within DuPage County Jail. I toured their facilities and learned about the … [Read More...] Why NH Is Needed More Than Ever
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Graduation Number 10

  • May 4, 2021
  • BY Eric Morse
  • no responses
I’ve been waiting to share this story with you. It has been the very best victory we’ve experienced in the last 12+ months. Nothing could stop this woman from accomplishing her goals at Naomi’s House, not even a pandemic.   When I first met April*, she was intense and boisterous. When she was first settling … [Read More...] Graduation Number 10
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Feed My Sheep

  • March 30, 2021
  • BY Eric Morse
  • no responses
There’s a familiar passage in the book of John that has been on repeat in my head lately. It’s when Jesus tells Peter to “feed my sheep.” I have found this to be simple and honest answer I’ve been praying for from the Lord. “Feed my sheep.” What do we do about the ongoing pandemic? … [Read More...] Feed My Sheep
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Job Opening

  • March 10, 2021
  • BY Eric Morse
  • no responses
Naomi’s House is seeking to fill a full-time position for our Residential Program in DuPage County. As a community of Christian believers who share a faith-based commitment to professional practice to those traditionally marginalized and underserved in society, we strongly encourage applications from groups underrepresented in our communities, specifically ethnic and racial minorities.   Overview … [Read More...] Job Opening
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Let’s Talk About Ravi

  • February 17, 2021
  • BY Eric Morse
  • one response
I’m not going to get this right, but I do want to share some thoughts regarding the allegations against the late Ravi Zacharias. Click here to learn more about him (pre-allegations) and his ministry. Anyone who heard Ravi speak or who read any of his books was most likely impacted in a significant way. Ravi had a way of communicating the … [Read More...] Let’s Talk About Ravi
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Be Brave

  • January 27, 2021
  • BY Eric Morse
  • no responses
Welcome to the New Year. We have begun 2021 at Naomi’s House as we have done in the years before: thanking God for the previous year, reflecting on our work and evaluating the highs and lows, and praying for the year ahead. At the top of our list of things for which we’re thankful is … [Read More...] Be Brave
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Make Me A Better Me

  • November 25, 2020
  • BY Eric Morse
  • no responses
We met two new women this month who are applying to come to Naomi’s House. My heart is so full of hope for both of them. It is likely they will enter our community, and my prayer is that they will both embrace everything our program has to offer so that they can heal. Let … [Read More...] Make Me A Better Me
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A Sneak Peek

  • October 28, 2020
  • BY Eric Morse
  • no responses
We’ve been working around the clock over to put together our Annual Report. It’s honestly one of my favorite things to do each year! This reporting tool looks back at 12 months of the work we’ve done – the work you’ve supported – and we can celebrate!   2020 has been our biggest year yet. … [Read More...] A Sneak Peek
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What is Success?

  • September 29, 2020
  • BY Eric Morse
  • no responses
“What is your success rate at Naomi’s House?” That’s a question I’m asked all the time, and it’s right to ask it. We recently pondered this as a staff, and Amanda, our Director of Programming, had this to share with us:   We’ve met a woman in our program who had her first baby as … [Read More...] What is Success?
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