Q: When was Rescue Her established and what sparked the birth of this organization?
A: Rescue Her was established a little over 10 years ago out of our founder’s desire to do something to help those in the darkest of places. For years, our founder kept doubting whether or not she could help, until one day she had a life changing encounter with God that she just couldn’t ignore. The sheer number of slaves being trafficked in the world today can be overwhelming, but here at Rescue Her, we do not focus on the magnitude of the problem. Instead, we focus on helping the ONE survivor in front of us… then another, and another. To read more about our founder’s story, visit our website at https://www.rescueher.org/our-founder
“We who are free have the obligation and privilege to fight for those who are not.” — Josie Carignan, Rescue Her Founder
Q: What are the ways in which Rescue Her is combatting human trafficking?
A: Currently, our efforts are focused on our crisis response and advocacy program for female adult survivors in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas. For over 10 years, we have been empowering, supporting, and praying for the ONE. We have done this through crisis response, advocacy, safe homes, street outreach, education/prevention, and facilitating rescue operations. From India to Moldova to right here in Texas, we have assisted survivors all across the globe. No matter where we are or what we are doing, we fight for her.
We provide short-term crisis response services to adult (18+) female victims of sex trafficking in the Dallas-Fort Worth area who are in need of emergency assistance. Since 2017, we have operated our crisis hotline, which is currently open 24 hours a day Monday-Saturday. We receive phone calls from law enforcement, Homeland Security, hospitals, the National Human Trafficking Hotline, other non-profit agencies, community members, and victims themselves.
When we receive a call about a survivor in crisis, our response depends on who is calling. If the call is from a survivor herself (or a community member who is in direct contact with a survivor), we complete a brief assessment to determine emergency needs and safety risks before meeting the survivor in a secure location to coordinate next steps. If assisting in person is not possible, due to capacity or safety risks, we continue to assist the survivor over the phone. Consent is extremely important to us. If the call is not from a survivor directly, we ensure that the person calling on their behalf obtains the survivor’s consent to speak with us. If we receive a general tip about trafficking in the community (or about someone they know whom they are not in contact with), we can forward the tip to local law enforcement or encourage the caller to do so themselves.
We provide long-term advocacy services for adult, female survivors of trafficking in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area through our Empower Program. Our program focuses on empowerment in these five areas: Legal, Independent Living (housing, transportation, financial), Community, Safe Environment, and Health (physical, emotional, mental).
Each Brave One, or survivor in our program, is paired with a staff Advocate and a Volunteer Mentor to offer emotional support, guidance, and assistance identifying and reaching goals. Brave Ones also receive financial support for things like transportation to and from work/school, medical/prescription needs, and basic necessities (clothes/food/hygiene) with the end goal being financial independence.
Because Brave Ones are coming out of an exploitive and abusive community, we place a heavy emphasis on helping each survivor create a new, healthy community where they can thrive.
Community is created through attending Empower Night (our weekly survivor support group), volunteer mentorship, guidance in restoring existing relationships with family and friends if possible, and partnership with local churches and agencies.
Our advocacy services have no end. Some survivors in our program have been with us for years; others have just left exploitation as recently as a month ago. While our advocacy services begin when survivors are local to DFW, we also have a virtual Empower Program for those that end up moving out of the city/state to continue their healing.
We believe that the prevention of trafficking and the rescue and long-term restoration of victims all begins with awareness. Our goal is to educate communities on the truth of what trafficking is, what it looks like in their community, and their role in the long-term safety and restoration of survivors.
Because trafficking can happen in ANY community, it is vital that ALL communities be equipped with this basic knowledge. We raise awareness through speaking events and Rescue Her information booths anywhere we are invited.
Q: From your experience thus far, what would you say is the toughest challenge for Rescue Her in helping survivors?
A: The toughest part is that the need for help is currently greater than what our small team has capacity for. We aim to provide deep, individualized care for each survivor we work with. This kind of care requires a lot of time and financial resources. We want to always make sure that the women in our program receive the full continuum of care that they need and are worthy of. Unfortunately, that means that we often have to say no to helping new survivors, in order to ensure that we have the time and resources necessary to continue to assist those in our program. It truly breaks our heart when we can’t open our doors to each and every woman who reaches out to us. It’s hard to know that there are women still hurting, that we just don’t have the capacity to serve yet.
Q: Could you share with us a favorite story of victory that Rescue Her has witnessed?
A: Yes! I would highly encourage people to watch Alexa’s* story here:
We assisted this brave survivor in leaving her trafficker. She then joined our long-term program, and has since gone on to graduate high school, get a job, and start a family! We are so proud of who she is, and so honored to have gotten to walk alongside her.
Q: What are the current needs of Rescue Her? How can we, the every day person, support you in fighting human trafficking?
A: Our biggest need is to hire additional crisis and long-term staff advocates so that we can assist more survivors here in DFW! We would love to grow our team so that we can say yes to walking long-term with every survivor who reaches out. You can help our team reach more survivors making supporting us financially here: https://www.rescueher.org/give . Not only will your financial gift have a tangible impact, but your gift also communicates to survivors that you believe they are worthy, capable, and have a future worth fighting for. When you give, you become part of a broader community that’s supporting the futures of the survivors we work with.
If you'd like to support specific needs of survivors, our Survivor Care Room for example, you can view our current needs here — https://www.rescueher.org/current-agency-needs
We believe that most people want to fight slavery — they just don’t know how. Rescue Her is a place that allows those who want to take action to do so. Together we are making a difference!
You can also support Rescue Her by purchasing 139MADE's shirts and other products, while sharing about the wonderful work this organization is doing to fight human trafficking. 10% of all our sales until OCTOBER 2nd will be donated to Rescue Her. CLICK HERE TO SHOP
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