The Rose Home
The Rose Home has been in full swing all summer! The girls and coaches have been continuing their day-to-day activities, such as therapy and goal setting. The garden has continued to be a wonderful addition to The Rose Home. The girls have been able to harvest, prepare, and eat plenty of organic cucumbers, onions, zucchini, and jalapenos. There are also tomatoes, broccoli, and four tiny watermelons! The girls take great pride in their urban garden.
The ladies at The Rose Home took a day trip up north to Camp Bird, where they enjoyed some group activities and team-building exercises. They did “trust falls” from about a 5ft tall tree stump. One of the ladies said she felt a weight was lifted off of her shoulders after she did the fall and everyone caught her. Another one of the ladies said she loved it and wanted to do it again. The ladies exhibited a lot of strength as a group and found they can all work very well together and problem solve. They also got to go swimming, kayaking, and hiking. It was such a treat for them to enjoy a change of pace in the great outdoors!
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At the end of August, the girls were able to enjoy a summer vacation to Door County. They went for a boat ride, had a cookout, played card games, and had a fun, relaxing time. The coaches led the girls through an activity where they let go of something stressful during a sunset and brought something new in during a sunrise. This activity had a strong impact on the girls, and they felt that it really helped their healing process. One of the most touching parts of the trip, though, was a group activity led by the coaches called "Being a Hero".
The coaches were happy to see that that the girls were always very grateful for everyone who helps them, from the law enforcement officers to the coaches, and everyone who supports The Rose Home. At first, it seemed great, but the coaches worried, too--didn't the girls realize that they are helping themselves? Our outreach team works with survivors of sex trafficking outside of The Rose Home, and they see a lot of familiar faces over and over again. On average, a person has to leave sex trafficking seven times before they are done for good; the first six times, they somehow wind up back in The Life. Leaving the world of sex trafficking is a long, difficult process similar to leaving domestic abuse. It often involves PTSD and other forms of severe emotional trauma. Often, when a survivor first leaves The Life, it's difficult for them to imagine what could possibly come next for them.
That's why the girls at The Rose Home are so spectacular. They are 100% dedicated to putting The Life behind them for good. Even though the coaches, law enforcement, and our wonderful community are giving them a support system, it's ultimately up to each lady to do the work to turn her own life around--and they're doing it! That's why, in Door County, the coaches used storytelling to explain that the girls are the heroes of their own stories. Here's a part of what we shared:
"In trauma and in what we do at the Rose Home, not staff, not Mary, not the coaches, not myself are the heroes. You are the heroes! We are merely a part of your story, we are a character, a supporting role. You do the work, you stay at the Rose Home day in and day out. You are the heroes! You are the super heroes! You deserve and need your own cape."
We gave the ladies superhero capes that some of our fantastic supporters donated for this event, then told the ladies,
"Wear your cape when you are having a bad day, wear it when you are wearing a good day, wear it to bed so you don’t have nightmares, wear it in the van while we drive to court, wear it underneath your clothes to school so you remember you have super powers, super strength and courage to do anything you put your mind to."
Our outreach team had the opportunity to help plenty of people in our community in addition to the ladies at The Rose Home this summer. With local law enforcement, our outreach team was able to help TEN survivors of sex trafficking in July and August! But that's not all they've been up to...
Our Outreach Director, Dawn Spang, had the chance to educate a john about sex trafficking. "Johns" are the individuals who buy sex, providing the "demand" which incentivizes traffickers to continue to provide a "supply" of women--and sometimes men. A member of law enforcement spontaneously asked Dawn to have a conversation with a john that they had picked up in a sting operation, and she immediately agreed, even though she didn't have time to prepare at all. The chance to educate a john about the harmful system which he participates in was too good to pass up. Dawn explained that sex trafficking is not prostitution, and that people who sell their bodies are often forced to or feel like they don't have any other option. She used a video from a survivor of sex trafficking to show him the extreme violence and abuse which she endured when she was trafficked. When Dawn learned that the buyer had a wife and daughters, she encouraged him to tell his wife what he had done. She also suggested that he pursue counseling to figure out why he thought it was okay to go online and purchase a woman. We sincerely hope that this john will realize that by buying sex, he is perpetuating a terrible system which hurts his loved ones. For the sake of his wife, his children, and the women he bought sex from, we hope that he will see the light and change his ways.
When you support Eye Heart World, you support every single one of these exciting moments. We could never do any of it--from keeping The Rose Home doors open to working with local law enforcement--without you and your generous support. That's why we're inviting you to join 500 for Freedom. When you pledge to give a monthly gift to Eye Heart World through 500 for Freedom, you get exclusive, behind-the-scenes access to learn how you helped in the fight against human trafficking. Will you join us?