Noelle Viard from Selah Freedom (SF) spoke to our group today. She is the Midwest Regional Coordinator.  SF started, and is based out of Florida, by a group of women who realized what a huge issue sex trafficking is but yet there was no organizations involved to help with the problem, and hence, Selah (Hebrew for “pause, rest or reflect”) Freedom was formed.
Human Trafficking ($32 billion/year) is considered organized crime and is second only to drug trafficking ($38 billion/year). 100% of the woman who are “saved” from trafficking were sexually abused by either a family member, stranger or someone they knew. 1 in 3 children have been sexually abused in this country by the time they are 5 y/o. The pattern continues as they grow up, learn to keep the secret, run away and are approached by a “kind stranger” who wants to help her and they are caught up in a life of sex trafficking, for a minimum of 7 years before they can get out. These girls have diverse backgrounds of all socioeconomic levels and ethnicities – it does not discriminate. SF works with Law Enforcement and other Nonprofits, to get these girls out & view the person as a victim vs. arresting them for prostitution. They get them rest, care and counseling and help to reunite with families, society and communities. They offer art, horse, trauma therapies, as well as help them gain employment. They also provide awareness and education programs and outreach, teaching teens and young people about what is going on and how to avoid – empower them to not get involved. They have residential homes in the north shore area and will be opening one here in Kenosha, where those 18 or older can live and receive help.