Human Trafficking is a crime against humanity; it is the second most profitable transnational crime after drug trafficking. Medical Mission Sisters around the globe are fighting against this modern form of slavery by educating, advocating, lobbying, networking, and offering a safe place for rest and recovery for some of the most vulnerable people in the world.
Trafficking is both transnational and domestic - the average age of a teen entering the sex trade in the US is 12-14 years old. Women who have been exploited and abused are living on the streets of Philadelphia, often with an addiction due to years of untreated trauma. They have no safe place for rest, a shower, laundry or time and support to contemplate moving toward change. Violence against women is rooted in power and control - we must raise awareness of our system of cultural oppression.
Medical Mission Sisters at the Thea Bowman Women's Center offer women a sense of community, acceptance and belonging while being empowered to work toward their goals at their own pace. A caseworker is available to establish next steps and offer ongoing support. The documentary, (NOT) Buying It!, co-produced by Sister Teresita Hinnegan, confronts and uncovers the root causes of violence against women, including teaching young men a broader definition of masculinity and non-violence.
The documentary with its long term "ripple effect" of cultural change, will help women and girls to appreciate their personal worth, be able to recognize unhealthy and dangerous behavior from others, will empower men to advocate against violence against women and girls and will eventually change the culture of male rights in relation to women. Women coming to the Thea Bowan Women's Center will have the opportunity to change their lives forever, to seek help and lead healthy, stable lives.