There are many “awareness” months and days in America now, which draw our attention to important issues and concerns. One issue of particular concern to me and Orange County Rescue Mission is human trafficking. January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, and I want to do my part in raising awareness.
Human trafficking is a worldwide issue of great concern. But several years ago, I was shocked to realize that wealthy, metropolitan areas in the United States, such as my own Orange County, have become desirable markets of human traffickers. Victims of human trafficking are taken from other communities in America and brought here to southern California.
As my awareness of human trafficking grew, I knew that we could position our resources at Orange County Rescue Mission to help women fleeing from a trafficker. Our Village of Hope campus has become a rescue and emergency shelter. And, in partnership with other faith-based community organizations, we have a program we call Strong Beginnings. We can receive women looking for an escape any day and time, give them safe shelter, and provide the unique care survivors need. Our specially trained staff then help women transition to long-term programs designed to help survivors.
No doubt, as you increase your awareness of this horrific crisis, you may want to do something about it. To learn more and to donate, go to RescueMission.org/trafficking-help.