SweetWater Girls Ranch Looks to Offer Safe Haven
Helping Victims of Sex Trafficking
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It’s a billion dollar business that is corrupting the lives of our children and whether you want to believe it or not, it’s happening in our own neighborhoods: sex trafficking.
Research revealed 213 girls are sold on average of five times a day for sex in Minnesota.
Now, a Grand Rapids organization is working to raise money and create a safe haven from sex trafficking.
The statistics are startling.
According to Shared Hope International the average age is a child is first exploited through prostitution is the age of thirteen.
SweetWater Girls Ranch hopes to help these victims heal and life fulfilling lives.
“Minnesota is one of the worst states for trafficking. I think we are in the top 14,” said SweetWater Girls Ranch Chair Rebecca Walker.
It’s a problem volunteers want to combat.
“Bring these girls in and come give them a place where they can get healed from the trauma they’ve been put through,” said Walker.
They safe have would house tweens to 18-year-old women.
“The average age of a prostitute right now is 12–14, so that just tells you how sick our society has become,” explained Walker.
Even in the eyes of the Department of Justice the girls are victims, not criminals.
In a society that has grown dependent upon technology prostitution has changed as well with women being kept in hotels and sold online.
“You can go online and purchase a girl like you’re purchasing a pair of shoes,” said Walker.
In Northern Minnesota the most sex trafficked group is Native Americans.
“Lower class, middle class and upper class, everyone can be affected,” explained SweetWater Volunteer Todd Block.
The hope is that the girls will heal at the ranch with the help of psychologists and therapy animals.
“Them having a horse that they can call their own that they can run, train and bond with is going to keep them from wanting to run away,” said Block.
Every volunteer’s story is different for taking a stand in the fight.
“This is modern day slavery,” said Walker, who has a daughter of her own.
“Let’s be real. Men are the idiots that want to use women for their own sexual gratification. Men have to stand up and put a stop to it,” said Block.
No matter the purpose these volunteers hope you’ll help their dream become a reality.
SweetWater Girls Ranch needs to raise $600,000 dollars to purchase the property where they hope to house the safe haven.
According to Shared Hope International these are some warning signs or traits of sex trafficking:
-significantly older boyfriend
-signs of trauma (physical or other)
-travel with old male (not guardian)
-multiple delinquent charges
-special marked tattoos
They do have a Go Fund Me Account: http://www.gofundme.com/u9rjdc
National Human Trafficking Resource Center: 1.888.3737.888
They also to plan hold a fundraiser on October 24th.