Hope for Justice’s team at our newest US regional investigative hub is celebrating its first rescue of a victim of human trafficking. The Midwest team, at our second US hub which began work only this month, has helped a young woman take her first steps towards freedom after being forced into prostitution and controlled by drugs and fear. Kristen*, who is in her 30s, is now being cared for in a safe house.
Newly-appointed Senior Investigator David Gonzalez said: “We are so glad to have helped Kristen to safety, and that she is receiving all the support she needs to start to recover and begin a new life of freedom. We will continue to support Kristen into the future to ensure she is progressing well, and also focus our efforts on supporting law enforcement in their investigation to bring the traffickers to justice. We are confident that this first rescue out of this newest hub marks the start of a journey where we empower many people to escape their traffickers, and help them begin to rebuild their lives for their future.”
Kristen was living independently until she met a man who promised her “everything including drugs”. Gradually she became addicted, and as she did so she became dependent on the man. He used drugs and fear as a way of controlling Kristen, and forcing her into sexual exploitation for his own profit.
Hope for Justice first became involved when a friend of Kristen became concerned that she was being trafficked. After her friend contacted us, our Midwest team then sprang into action, contacting Kristen and explaining how we could help her.
After speaking with Kristen, we assisted her with a safe place where she opened up about what happened to her. We then collected her and brought her to safety after arranging for Kristen to be cared for at the safe house.
*Name and image have been changed to protect the identity of the survivor