Often times the word trafficking conjures up images of girls, women, and men in a situation of bondage. Physically held captive and without the freedom to go where they want, and make their own choices. While that is sometimes the case, often there is a different kind of bondage not as easily seen in victims.
CF has found that girls/women that are sexually exploited often experience a dark or more deceptive lack of freedom. It is not always visible chains that they are bound by- but often bound emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually. Where girls sometimes have the "freedom" to walk around, but due to positions of power on part of the trafficker, circumstances of poverty, family & community perceptions, and other factors of deception and coercion, the girls are living in a reality in which they are very much held captive.
With your continued help, CF aftercare is seeking to obtain freedom on those levels by assisting girls in a safe, healthy, loving environment. Working together with families and community, clients in conjunction with CF caseworkers can create a care plan to help them pursue their own dreams and goals for freedom. As well as assist in the process of healing with the ultimate goal of re-integrating back into their home. This is the freedom to dream, hope, and choose the steps for their future.
With time and our continued advocacy/efforts, she will find her way to true freedom.
Bonnie McIntyre, YCFI Director of Aftercare
Jan. 1 – Feb. 1 is NATIONAL HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND PREVENTION MONTH!
BE AN ADVOCATE!: here's what you can do today
We are very proud to announce the introduction of Compassion First's new Director of Aftercare for Ruth's House in Indonesia. Bonnie McIntyre, a MSW (Master's in Social Work) graduate, comes to us after two years of working for the International Justice Mission in Cambodia. She was instrumental in setting up the IJM's operation in Siem Reap, Cambodia and directly responsible for the oversight of their aftercare component. Bonnie grew up in Pennsylvania, did her undergraduate work at Gordon College and received her MSW from Dominican University.
With this addition, we are very encouraged about the further development to our program that she will bring. Already, Bonnie has dug in with our care staff, worked on additional hiring and initiated a season of training that will bring the best available tools to our program.
If you are considering a year-end gift, please consider a contribution to Compassion First. A heartfelt thank you goes to all those who have given to the progress of Ruth's House. With your partnership we will continue making strides in pursuing the best possible solutions for the survivors in our care.
Compassion First & The CF Volunteer Team
On May 9, Compassion First President Mike Mercer met with governmental and non-governmental groups in Indonesia to discuss the filing of a petition for judicial review before the Constitutional Court of Indonesia. The petition is requesting to change the law so that children can not be convicted in trafficking cases. Current cases are being "flipped" onto victims by the courts. As a result, girls are being called to testify in court and ending up in prison. The law in its current state is directly impacting two Compassion First cases. A good result in the judicial review case will allow CF and partners to scour the jails for victims who have been wrongly imprisoned. The number of girls serving sentences is not known but minimal estimates suggest dozens of victims. It is reasonable to assume that it is well over a hundred.
A difficult but necessary aspect of anti-trafficking efforts is navigating the legal process and having our girls testify against those that trafficked them. Compassion First provides each client with protection, expert legal representation, and advocacy for all aspects of their human and children's rights.
Three of our girls are currently in court, two are very difficult cases. One includes the extremely serious matter of testifying against family. The other is even more complicated where a corrupt court is actually flipping cases onto victims. We are currently advocating for all three of our clients in court as well as those who we've discovered have been wrongly imprisoned.
As we grapple against the legal entanglements, it alerts us even more to the manipulative and complex nature of trafficking. These three precious girls represent a small number of victims who fall prey to corrupt law enforcement and courts. Let's take this personally and continue to speak out against what's happening to ensure that victims are not treated like criminals.
For the full story:http://lifeattheturn.net/2011/03/07/victim-survivor-hero/
Our first clients are now receiving daily care from our qualified social workers and case managers! In addition to caring for the unique needs of the girls in our care, we are also working overtime to track down 18 trafficked girls that were rescued by the police several months ago--just a few months before we opened our doors. Because there was no aftercare available at that time, these victims were lost. So far we have been able to recover one of these victims, who is now in our care. This experience has reinforced the fact that aftercare has been the missing, and in our opinion, the most important piece.
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