Rethreaded’s founder and owner says that besides giving women a steady job, they face hurdles of getting back to a normal life.
Kristin Keen is the founder and owner of Rethreaded, a local group that gives sex trafficking victims a job, and a fresh start.
One of their most recent success stories involves one woman who became the first trafficking victim in Duval County to get her criminal record wiped clean thanks to a Florida statute that allows former trafficking victims to have their criminal history wiped clean.
"One of our employees just got her record expunged, and she's been with us for two years. For two years she's been taking the bus every day, living in an apartment," Keen said.
That woman now has a smoother path to a normal life.
Assistant state attorneys Mac Heavener and Meredith Hough helped that woman get her record clean.
"If a human trafficking survivor, let's say, their trafficker or their pimp forced them into prostitution, the law should not hold the victim criminally accountable for that act,” Heavener said.
For some victims of human trafficking, it can be tough to escape the lifestyle.
Rethreaded offers an escape route, that gives women hope when there does not seem to be any.
"100 percent of women coming out of human trafficking come out of severe complex trauma…You have court to go to, you're trying to get your kids back, you can't start your new life unless you have access to a new job and new community, so we provide access to that," Keen said.
A link to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's human trafficking expungement application can be found here.