When will you open for clients?
Freedom House plans to welcome our first clients late Fall of 2021. While COVID has delayed our opening (and while we must remain flexible!), we are continuing to push the program forward. Our plan is to hire remaining staff late summer of 2021, rent the facility early Fall, and begin to welcome clients by November/December 2021.
Why is Freedom House for adult women only?
We’ve seen a real gap in services for survivors who are over the ages of 18. They often do not qualify for the same support from the Social Welfare Systems as minors do. Because of this, many of them end up back on the streets in vulnerable situations, in desperate need of work . . . and often are forced back into the sex industry as a means of survival. Freedom House will uniquely serve these women who fall through the cracks of the system, but desire another option for their futures. Women with small children will also be considered for the mentorship program.
What is the difference between the safe house and the mentorship program?
Both the safe house and the mentorship program will be housed in the same location and include food and shelter. The safe house portion of Freedom House is designed to provide immediate, crisis care for women in need. Clients will have access to medical care, trauma-informed counseling, safe and secure shelter, and help with legal documents, if necessary. Women will be allowed to remain there, free of charge, for up to one month. We want to give them a place to breathe, feel safe, get immediate care, and determine their next best step.
If women choose to do so, they can enter the mentorship program. The mentorship program is one year in length and includes full-service programming to include life skills, group and individual therapy, education or entrepreneurial training, and community internships. Our team will continue to follow up with graduates as they begin their new independent lives.
Who leads Freedom House?
Freedom House is a project led by The Exodus Road team. On the ground leadership is 100% local national and predominantly female. We collaborate with other NGO’s on the ground for referrals, program support, or partnership projects.
Can the women in your mentorship program leave when they want?
YES! One of the greatest gifts we can give survivors is the power of independent choice. No one will ever be forced to stay in the program, however, participants must adhere to the house and program rules to access the housing and services that Freedom House provides.
Are all clients survivors of sex trafficking?
All clients will be survivors of sexual exploitation or sex trafficking. Much overlap between the two groups exists, and age and circumstance play a role in determining the differences. All individuals in the commercial sex industry who are minors are victims of human trafficking. Thus, some clients in our program will be women who by legal definition are not currently trafficking victims, but who began work in the sex industry as a minor (and thus, by legal definition, were trafficking victims then). Because of the nuance that exists, we’ve determined to welcome any woman, over the age of 18, who has suffered from sexual exploitation or sex trafficking, typically within the commercial sex industry in Southeast Asia.
How can I help?
You can become a monthly supporter of our Search + Rescue Program, which includes the work of our national social workers in Southeast Asia, or you can make a one-time donation to support the work of The Exodus Road. If you’d like to learn more about the Beyond Rescue Program, you can also sign up for our newsletter specific to updates on our survivor care programs.
How we holistically fight human trafficking.
We know that rescue is only the first step to healing. We’re bringing about systemic, holistic change through our Beyond Rescue program.