JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A house in an undisclosed location in Jacksonville is offering a safe haven to human trafficking victims. It’s the start of what’s hoped to be a network of homes for young women who are dealing with the trauma of being labor and sex trafficked.
The home is the first of its kind in Northeast Florida. Before its existence, many victims found themselves in difficult circumstances even after escaping or being rescued by law enforcement.
Rachel White, the founder of Her Song wanted to give them a safe place to get back on their feet.
“What we do is we empower them to make decision for themselves and to build the life that they want to build,” White said. “Some of them are in jail, some of them are in rehab, some are living in group homes, some are living on couches all over town, we have women living out of their cars.”
Four women, ranging in age from 19 to 31, will move into the house in November. After a combined 50-plus years of being trafficked, they are hoping to put that life behind them with the help of therapists, or “coaches," or will often visit or stay over with them in a separate room.
White says their clients are a mix of sex trafficking and labor trafficking victims, most of whom are from Jacksonville.
“Sometimes you see a crossover, women who are labor trafficked might be violently raped at night,” she said.
As the women move in, they’ll find letters in their entryway from some of the people who helped rescue them, FBI, FDLE, JSO, many of the heroes working behind the scenes as they transition into the help of heroes standing by their side, like White.
If you are interested in helping with their efforts you can “adopt” one of their women for $250 a month or you can find a registry online to donate needed household items as they expand and build more homes.