to open a safe house for victims of sex trafficking
In a 2008 nationwide FBI sting, Portland had the second highest number of girls rescued. Rural towns in OR have also seen an increase, as noted by New York Times. Local girls are being bought and sold. Currently, there is no safe place for girls to leave their abusive pimps. This issue has brought together a rare and unusual coalition of non-profits, churches, government, community members, schools, and law enforcement from across the state. All believe that we can create an innovative program and safe house in Oregon where girls can be safe, cared for, and empowered.
Mollie Ruskin commented
As someone who has been working alongside anti-sex trafficking advocates, it has become abundantly clear that the most important thing we can do to support survivors is give them a safe and comfortable place to stay.
Alex Berke commented
This is an idea that we know will work, and we owe it to the too many girls around the state who are being trafficked to give it a shot.
This shelter will help address an issue that consistently goes overlooked in our communities and our state. Currently, law enforcement is often forced to put these victims - who are as young as 12 years old - in juvenile detention, where they are punished for being the victims of rape. With a safe, secure place to take these victims of child sexual exploitation it will be much easier for providers to begin to treat them for their injuries, and for the pimps and thugs who are trafficking them to be prosecuted. This safe house would go a long way towards addressing an issue that is plaguing our state and is occuring without much of the public or citizenry realizing it even exists.