[youtube]http://youtu.be/O5z8wyW67mI[/youtube]Today is Front Line Friday and you have the opportunity to meet Jessica, a staff member of 4Sarah. 4Sarah is a nonprofit that assists women caught in sexual exploitation to shift the trajectory of their lives through outreach and their scholarship program.
When did you first hear about the issue of sex trafficking America?
I first heard about it in 2008. I had heard about it happening overseas but never thought it was so wide spread in America. I know it was probably going on, but in 2008 my eyes were opened and my heart began to stir.
Did you read any books or attend any training that pertained to the issue?
In 2013 I attended an Out of Darkness training program that shed light on sex trafficking.
How did you get involved in the fight? Was it volunteering or a paid position?
I first got involved by going through a traumatic experience. I knew God brought me through this and I am grateful to be alive. I began seeking ways to get involved but it took me a few years. I was told about 4Sarah and began volunteering immediately. I met the founder, Kasey McClure, and my heart has continued to stir for this issue.
Do you work directly with survivors?
Yes, 4Sarah works directly with survivors. Through our call center and our strip club outreach we work directly with the women. My role with 4Sarah is Outreach Director. I coordinate weekly outreaches, call center outreaches and strip club outreaches. I also work with community leaders and with Kasey as her third and fourth hand.
What is the hardest part about your job?
Hearing the stories of the women’s trauma as young children or what they’re going through right now and wishing you could house each one of them and help them. Wanting to reach through the phone and just hold each one of these ladies, hug them and listen to them. Another hard part of my job is talking to women who are not ready to leave or escape the adult entertainment industry.
What is the greatest blessing of your job?
I believe the greatest blessing I’ve seen so far working with 4Sarah has been seeing the women come out of darkness. Women who have escaped their pimps and/or the captivity of the adult entertainment industry step into the light and a fresh start. That’s a beautiful thing to see. For example, one of the ladies, we’ll call her “L”, has come out of prostitution, is working, is getting her diploma and is doing quite well. She is in a safe place and every time I see her she has the most contagious smile on her face. That to me is a blessing and I give God the glory!
What do you feel is the weak link in this fight?
I think the internet and websites like Craig’s List and Backpage make it difficult to fight this issue. If they would remove their options for escorts and their adult sections it would limit the advertising and endangerment of young ladies. I also feel another weak link is people who go on and on about the fight but don’t get involved. They stand on the side crying out for these women but they are afraid to pick up the phone or hug their necks.
What is your greatest need at 4Sarah?
We need people to get involved in the fight. It’s important to raise awareness, but it’s more important to get involved. We can always use more people in the call center, donations for our gift bags for the women, and items for the girls being rescued. We also need financial support and sponsors for our scholarship program that will help girls who apply to go back to school to obtain a marketable skill.
To learn more about the programs 4Sarah has you can go here. To learn about their scholarship program, go here. If you’d like to volunteer with 4Sarah and become boots on the ground, you can go here. And to donate to them, go here. This is a fabulous organization that is making a huge difference in the lives of many women and children caught up in the sex industry. Why not join them and raise your voice for hope?
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