If you would like to support Women’s Resources, please Donate THANK YOU!

Help for Trafficking Victims

As we’ve noted in this space before, sex trafficking does happen here in Kawartha Lakes. Some of those who end up having to perform sex acts for money against their will have been brought here from other cities in hopes of avoiding detection. Others have been recruited from within our very midst. For a young person being forced into a life they don’t want — usually a young woman, but youngsters of all genders are in danger from would-be traffickers — that life can seem bleak and endless.

But there is hope. There’s a small army of local people dedicated to preventing and ending sex trafficking and providing support for those who’ve been lured or had to endure it. Our new Anti-Human Trafficking Program is designed to help. Our trained people understand trauma and know how to meet trafficking victims where they are — physically, mentally, emotionally and for any other needs.

Once our team is in contact with someone who feels they are being lured and who is trying to leave this form of modern-day slavery, team members will work with the person to figure out the best way to get them to safety and keep them there, including:

  • assisting with exit plans and transportation to trusted family/caregivers, hospital and/or doctors, social workers, law enforcement for their safety, etc.
  • access to emergency shelter, housing, and health services, as needed
  • access to food, clothing, hygiene products
  • connection to legal/justice/government services and other community services such as mental wellness counselling, income benefits, employment supports, etc.
  • someone to accompany them, and family members or caregivers as needed, to appointments to keep them safe and speak up for them
  • support with obtaining and safely storing identification and financial documents, something traffickers typically confiscate
  • information on healthy relationships and the warning signs for re-trafficking

Women’s Resources also has dedicated spaces in its shelter system to provide survivors (former victims) of trafficking a safe temporary home. Those escaping forced sex work will receive personalized support to get used to their new environment and counselling to help them build their mental health, self-confidence, and resilience against the possibility of being retrafficked. Our staff will accompany them to appointments with lawyers, health care, housing agencies and others, as needed.

Escaping the dehumanizing confines of being trafficked takes enormous courage. Experience shows that it is possible to build a new, meaningful, enjoyable life even after being trafficked. Survivors of sex trafficking need care, support, encouragement and plenty of practical help. Working with our partners in the community, we are proud to stand beside those defying sex trafficking, building their lives after trafficking and helping restore the hope, joy and independence to which we are all entitled.

For immediate help call our 24-hour Crisis Support Line at 705-878-3662 or 1-800-565-5350. Our chat line is also available 24/7.

By Nancy Payne