HEALING INSIDE & OUT AT THE ROSE HOME
Two new participants joined The Rose Home this month! One is a returning participant who was not ready to complete the program before. We’re so glad to welcome her back!
One participant attended her first tattoo consultation to cover up a brand from her trafficker. Traffickers use brands to claim ownership over a person and dehumanize them, and that message can stick with a survivor. When we asked this participant what her brand means to her, she said, “It makes me feel like I’m still stuck in the past.”
Even though this survivor lives at The Rose Home now, her brand was a physical marker of the trafficking and addiction she fought to escape. When she imagines what the cover-up tattoo would mean, she imagines making peace with her past. She accepts that she cannot change her past, but she will not let it determine her future. She says, “As much as I still will deal with things that will haunt me, that will be something I can look at and say, 'I'm free.’”
The ladies at The Rose Home mindfully recharge and refuel through spiritual yoga at The Yoga Loft. As instructor Joy Rockstroh helps the girls meditate and move their bodies in intentional and powerful ways, she also encourages them to focus on their relationships with God. Each yoga practice is focused on restoration and rejuvenation, inside and out. They practice honoring their bodies and being still in God’s love. We’re grateful for Donna Mahoney, who owns The Yoga Loft, and Joy for the peace they bring to these survivors!
One of the coaches played Mental Health Jenga with the ladies at The Rose Home. Just like regular Jenga, players have to pull out pieces from a tower of blocks without toppling it over. The twist is that each piece has a question on it, like "Tell me one thing you love about yourself," "My biggest motivation is," "Describe yourself," "What is my favorite coping skill?" "How do you deal with anger?" Each player has to read the question on the block that they select and tell the group their answer. The questions guide the players to reflect on who they are, what they need, and how they can live a healthy life.
REACHING OUT TO SURVIVORS AND STUDENTS
We want to keep students safe from traffickers. The best way to do this is to talk about trafficking in schools. This month, we gave presentations about trafficking in five school districts, educating over 850 students, parents, and educators. We shared what trafficking is, how to stay safe, and warning signs to watch for in each other. Knowledge is power. Now that these students have knowledge about trafficking, they have the power to stay safe and protect one another from traffickers.
In February, our Outreach Team received a referral of a minor. Even though The Rose Home can only support survivors who are 18 and older, we met with this girl to see what we could do for her. As we talked with her, we realized that she was exhibiting some warning signs and red flags of trafficking. If she wasn’t currently being trafficked, she was vulnerable to it. We invited her to meet with us on an individual basis to go through The Heart Tour—our six-week curriculum designed to educate girls about trafficking and give them the tools to avoid it. She agreed, and every time we meet with her, she opens up a little more. If we can keep just one girl safe from traffickers, our work is worth it.
Including this girl, we’ve received seven referrals for our outreach services in the past two months. Most of our referrals come from law enforcement, but we’re excited to strengthen our connections with other great organizations in our community! Our relationships with Golden House in Green Bay & Selah Freedom in Chicago have taken off, and we now receive referrals from and give referrals to them. Cooperating with other local organizations is key to fighting trafficking.
Some of the ladies we meet through referrals are candidates for The Rose Home, but others would do well in our Outreach Group. Every two weeks, our Outreach Group meets as a place for survivors to find support and positivity. Some ladies were hesitant about joining because they thought that it was a therapy group, like some that are offered in other community programs, but that’s not quite true.
We work with Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, much like The Rose Center does. While therapy focuses on building tools to meet a person’s emotional and social needs, our Outreach Group often talks about more basic needs, such as housing, clothing, food, and stable jobs. Once these essential needs are met, it’s easier to focus on social and emotional topics. The ladies in our Outreach Group discuss just about anything—new coping skills, staying safe, and healthy relationships.
If you live in Green Bay, you may have heard of the arrest of Meixian Feng. This is yet another example of trafficking happening in our community. Members of Eye Heart World were available to respond to help survivors, as we always are, but law enforcement determined that we weren’t needed there.
Finally, our Clinical Director visited Madison, WI on March 27 to support Assembly Bill 41, which could become Wisconsin’s first Safe Harbor Law. Right now, minors in Wisconsin can be criminally charged with prostitution—even though they cannot legally consent to sex. Passing Assembly Bill 41 would mean that child survivors of sex trafficking would not have to worry about gaining a criminal record. We believe this is an essential step to making our state a place where trafficking cannot thrive.
To support Assembly Bill 41, please call your Wisconsin State Senator and Assembly Representative and let them know that minors should never be charged with prostitution.
Another way you can take action is to become a recurring donor. Our trained, professional staff at The Rose Home knows the best ways to support survivors. You can be a part of making this possible with a recurring donation and showing a survivor you care.