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“In an effort to spread awareness of such a widespread issue, I wanted to organize an event that would bring the community together, united, under one cause. Through my own personal experience, I came to fully understand the dynamics of this form of oppression, and its impact on my life. I have made it a priority to commit myself to help others become more aware as well.” – S.O. human trafficking survivor
A survivor in the human trafficking program was so grateful to Safe Harbor for helping her rebuild her life that she wanted to give back to the organization. She came up with the idea of a walk. And the Safe Harbor team helped her bring that idea to life. For that first walk in 2017, the survivor worked with other clients in the human trafficking program to make signs with facts and figures about human trafficking in the nation and here in Richmond that lined the route.
Not only did the event raise much-needed funds for the trafficking program, but it also helped the client as she continues to heal. And it serves as a legacy for her and for all survivors as we embark on the 4th annual walk on October 18, 2020.
Human trafficking is prevalent in every community, even yours and ours. Many imagine human trafficking as something out of a Liam Neeson movie. A predator snatches a woman in a parking lot. He ties her up. He gags her and throws her into a van. But that is rarely how trafficking plays out. Instead, it’s often a long, protracted campaign against a vulnerable person. It’s about control. The trafficker uses romance, promises, and drugs to accomplish it, often targeting vulnerable youth through social media. Sadly, sometimes a trafficker is a family member or a trusted friend.
This year we ask that you join us to walk anywhere, walk everywhere — on every sidewalk, track and trail. Walk individually or in small, safe teams while others in your community do the same. While there is no fee to register for the Walk, we encourage all participants to raise funds for Safe Harbor's Human Trafficking program. These funds will support survivors of human trafficking, who have been forced into sex work, heal and rebuild their lives.
Participate in 3 Easy Steps:
1. Register and Sign up as a Team Captain, team member or individual.
2. Start fundraising and spread the word.
We’ll provide tips and coaching every step of the way, including easy ways to raise funds online.
3. Join us on Walk day.
Take part in an interactive online experience, then walk in your community.
The core of our work is to help survivors heal, transform and rebuild their lives, to help them find their voice so that they can tell their story and write a new chapter.
Our mission is to provide the support that survivors of domestic and sexual violence and human trafficking need to overcome their crisis and to transform their lives. We envision that every person in our community can take pride in having safe homes and healthy relationships.
Safe Harbor began 20 years ago as an emergency shelter for survivors of domestic violence. It became the first agency in the greater Richmond area to serve survivors of human trafficking and it remains the only comprehensive program for trafficking survivors in Richmond.
Through counseling, case management, and shelter, Safe Harbor has helped trafficking survivors overcome their crisis and rebuild their lives. As pioneers in trafficking recovery work, Safe Harbor has become a model for other programs working with human trafficking survivors both in Virginia and nationally.
Our programs include:
· Trauma-informed individual therapeutic counseling and support groups for adults in Spanish and English. Counseling is provided at our community office, safe houses, and at the facilities of our partners Housing Families First in the east end of Henrico County and the Sacred Heart Center in the Manchester section of Richmond;
· Individual therapeutic counseling for children, age 5 and up, who have witnessed domestic or sexual violence involving a parent or guardian; and teens, age 13 and up, who are the victim of sexual assault/abuse or dating violence;
· Emergency and transitional shelter for sexual and domestic violence survivors;
· Comprehensive shelter program including emergency and transitional shelter, therapeutic and addiction counseling, art therapy, and case management for female human trafficking survivors who have been forced into sex work;
· Support groups for incarcerated female survivors of sexual violence or human trafficking at Henrico County East and West Jails;
· Case management services in English and Spanish for survivors who are accessing our services through our shelters, community office, or partner locations;
· Addiction counseling, based on the Matrix Model, for human trafficking survivors. Currently offered only in our human trafficking shelter program but expanding to serve those living in the community in the Fall of 2020;
· Court advocacy within the Henrico County General District Court and Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court for petitioners seeking protective orders;
· 24-hour crisis hotline in partnership with YWCA of Richmond;
· Regional Hospital Accompaniment Response Team (RHART) which meets survivors of sexual or domestic violence in area hospital emergency rooms 24/7 to offer crisis intervention, supportive counseling, advocacy services, and referral and resource information, and community outreach and education programs.
During FY19, we served 1,349 adults and 239 children. Our services are available to anyone who has experienced domestic violence, sexual violence, or human trafficking regardless of race, gender, age, national origin, income, immigration status, gender identity or expression, faith, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, and geographic location. Because survivors are often controlled financially by their abuser, services are offered at no charge to the survivor.
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