An Extended Stay Safe House For Human Trafficking Victims

We are ready to begin the next step in our plan: which is to open an extended-stay safe-house.

Dr. Sally Kemp Two-minute read.   Resources

Dr. Sally Kemp, President, LOSHTC.
Supplied image

For the past three years, Lake of the Ozarks Stop Human Trafficking Coalition’s (LOSHTC) goals have been to raise awareness about human trafficking in the Lake of the Ozarks area. We have held monthly meetings for the public to discuss various aspects of human trafficking: how it occurs, how to recognize it, and many other pertinent topics, including victims sharing their stories of being trafficked for many years. We have presented talks across the lake area whenever requested, we have shown movies with discussions following to teach young people how to protect themselves and their friends. We devoted a meeting to the dangers of surfing the web, especially for children and teenagers.

With the help of a grant from The Sharing and Caring Foundation and a donation from Wise Women Who Give to Women, we were able to present a full day’s training to 38 members of law enforcement from across the area. This helped them understand the neuropsychological impact of abuse on the development of the young brain, how this leaves a child vulnerable to human trafficking, the effects of it on those trafficked, how to recognize and approach an individual who appears to be trafficked, and the usual outcomes for these individuals. Because the event passed the Federal criteria for training, certifications with CE credits were awarded to the participating officers.

Along with our on-going awareness training, we are beginning to partner with the SART (Sexual Assault Response Team) program at Lake Regional Hospital to compile figures each month on how many women and girls have been treated in the hospital for injuries consistent with sexual violence and trafficking.

While we will continue to raise awareness, the coalition now feels that we are ready to begin the next step in our plan: which is to open an extended-stay safe-house. Such a place can provide the extra time and treatment needed by women who are having difficulty re-entering normal life. This is usually due to marked PTSD and a complete lack of belief in their own worth, because their survival depended on obeying their trafficker.

In such a haven, over one year and sometimes two, women will receive Trauma-informed Care. This allows a victim to receive intensive and validating treatment that addresses their PTSD trauma and helps her reclaim her life. We are beginning to look at possible sites and are gearing up for intensive training for those who will be working with the victims.

Dr. Sally Kemp is Co-founder and President of the Lake of the Ozarks Stop Human Trafficking Coalition and a member at St. George Episcopal Church Camdenton. She is also a licensed Lay Eucharistic Minister, Eucharistic Visitor, and Worship Leader.

Lake of the Ozarks Stop Human Trafficking Coalition Makes Plans to Begin a Safe House

The Lake of the Ozarks Stop Human Trafficking Coalition is now ready to pursue the second part of the dream they had at their founding: that of developing a safe house for women who have been trafficked.

Sally Kemp Five-minute read.   Resources

Three years ago, when Mike McDonnel and I founded the Lake of the Ozarks Stop Human Trafficking Coalition, our immediate goal was to raise awareness about human trafficking. From the beginning, we wanted the coalition to include people of all faiths and beliefs so we could attack this evil together.

 
Through meetings each month for the coalition we have provided speakers, including survivors, to educate us about human trafficking. We have held events to help hotel and motel personnel recognize trafficking, and we have spoken to numerous local organizations, as well as at The Diocese of West Missouri’s Annual Gathering, and to state and federal meetings. We have met with young people to teach them how to protect themselves and their friends. We have shown films and discussed the trafficking depicted. It has been very gratifying to see our membership grow and become so involved in spreading the word about human trafficking.
 
Now, however, with the help of a very able Board of Directors, we feel that while we will continue to raise awareness, we are ready to pursue the other part of the dream we had at our founding: to develop a safe house for women who have been trafficked. Our vision is to provide an extended-stay safe house where women who have been terribly traumatized and are having a particularly hard time putting their lives back together, could heal and face the world again.
 
This will call for an extended program of one to two years during which time the victim can feel welcome and safe while rebuilding confidence in herself.  A safe house would establish an emotionally safe environment, develop trustworthiness, restore choice and control so that the victim could believe in her ability to solve problems, support the development of coping mechanisms, facilitate connection with others, build strength, and allow her to respond to different situations and types of people.
 
The safe house we envision would be welcoming and appropriate to the special needs of trauma survivors. All aspects of the program would be responsive to the deeply-seated effects of trauma.
 
At the outset, 4-6 women would be a part of the extended program. After several years it might extend to 10. This year we will begin to look at possible answers to housing and begin training members who wish to work with victims, as well as begin to raise the considerable sums of money that will make this possible. With God’s help, the help of our able board, members, and the generosity of the people of the lake area, we hope to open our extended-stay safe house within the next two-three years.
 
To donate to the safe house, please visit our website.

Sally Kemp is President of the Lake of the Ozarks Stop Human Trafficking Coalition (LOSHTC), and serves as a Lay Eucharistic Minister, and Lay Eucharistic Visitor with St. George Episcopal Church, Camdenton.