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  • Writer's pictureElijah Ugoh

Hope for Victims and Survivors of DMST — How We're Helping to Make Life Meaningful at Haven

Updated: Aug 23, 2021

How We're Helping to Make Life Meaningful at Haven
How We're Helping to Make Life Meaningful at Haven

While we cannot erase the past, we can radically improve the future...yes, the darkest past can open up to a bright future.

For every child survivor that walks through our door, we see not just a helpless survivor, but a renewed person equipped to take life on, walking out of our shelter. Did you know that human trafficking is a multi-billion dollar industry and the fastest-growing crime in the world? Sadly, many people do not even realize this.

Why We Must Act

According to the 2020 Trafficking in Persons Report, the United States is classified as a Tier 1 country. The ranking means that the U.S. fully meets the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Over the years, the government has continued to demonstrate serious and sustained efforts in line with this standard, but unfortunately, there also seems to be a lingering systemic inadequacy to combat human trafficking properly; regardless of how massive the crime is, very few people have been convicted, very few cases have been investigated or prosecuted, and very few victim-specific aid programs are out there.

In 2018, 51.6% of the human trafficking cases active in the U.S. were sex trafficking cases involving only minors. Today, hundreds of thousands of children from across U.S borders and within are sold into forced labor and sexually exploited. Still, surprisingly, there are less than 600 beds available in the entire U.S. for child survivors of sex trafficking.

There’s a growing need to help as many child sex survivors as possible in line with this reality. But beyond helping these kids and teenagers escape a life of terror, is even far greater concern for their progress afterward. Many of them manage to escape each year, but who helps them pick up the pieces later; they have special needs, and the number of DMST survivors who fall into this category keeps growing each year. This is essentially why we created Mission Haven, a securely enclosed village of several safety houses with 24-hour access to trauma-informed therapists, educational facilities, a medical center, a fitness center, a chapel, an art studio, and access to music therapy.

Creating Bright Futures from Dark Pasts

We believe that every child survivor has as much chance at succeeding in life as everyone else, provided they have access to certain essentials. This typically ranges from in-depth, one-on-one mental therapy to very important basics like education and mentorship. We understand this, and our staff and support team are pretty much committed to seeing this happen in the life of every survivor in our care.

Restoration of Hope

Once a survivor breaks free, the best things you can offer them are new possibilities. We must also understand that these are minors — many of whom are below 10 years of age. So it was never their choice to be sold for sex. They need care, but they need hope even more. They need to see that anything is possible, from having a decent education to pursuing their dreams and starting their own businesses.

They need mentors who have been there, survived, and now thrive. We provide the safety they need to dream about the life they choose. One of the crucial things we help every survivor achieve is exploring hidden gifts, talents, and all the things they are passionate about. Then we provide education and training to develop those gifts.

A Place for Healing

At Haven, we understand how trauma can impact the mind and soul of a victim, so we provide access to comprehensive therapy, which includes on-site trauma-informed resources and therapists. Our therapists specialize in trauma-related therapy. In addition to caring for the girls, all staff members are trained to nurture safe and appropriate attachment bonds with the girls, promoting better healing. Our community of care provides safety, security, and true friendship throughout their stay.

A Haven of New Opportunities

We make Haven home until they build the muscle to launch on their own. We don't just provide shelter, but a true refuge. We call it transformational housing because the darkest past can become a bright future. Haven is an enclosed village of tiny houses, equipped with facilities to make survivors feel at home and loved. From our experience, we know that this helps them dream again and brace up for a meaningful life. We have a wellness center that provides private access to health care and therapy. Privacy is paramount, which for some is a new and welcome concept. We also encourage their choices from breakfast cereals to activities.

Help Us Make a Difference at The Mission Haven

Recovery isn't complete until a survivor regains full control of their life. This is our mission at Haven. With your generous donations and support, we can continue to provide a truly safe Haven of hope and healing equipped with essential resources to lift victims and survivors of domestic minor sex trafficking. To give, volunteer, or become a partner, feel free to contact us today. It’s our joy to reach as many survivors as possible.


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