Building Bridges for Human Trafficking Survivors

Helping human trafficking survivors overcome the challenges they face after rescue

When was the last time you heard about the “bust” of a human trafficking ring? It probably wasn’t very long ago. Sometimes it’s close to home and sometimes it’s across the country, but these announcements always bring with them a sense of justice and relief. We feel righteous excitement for the triumph of good over evil, and for the freedom of the poor souls that were the victims of these deplorable crimes. 

But what’s next? After the survivors are rescued, is society working together to restore them? 

We are grateful for law enforcement, healthcare providers, policy makers, and the faithful saints providing social services who admirably serve victims and survivors. However, the need doesn’t stop there. The last mile of a survivor’s journey requires financial independence. 

Without meaningful employment, survivors are at-risk of being re-trafficked. 

Right now in Middle Tennessee, trafficking survivors are struggling and failing to find work. They have aspirations for a career, not just a dead end job. They are looking for jobs. They want to work. And they are not finding work. Yet at the same time, many Middle Tennessee employers are in desperate need of workers.

There are legitimate reasons why this connection isn’t naturally made. 

You can help Viable build a bridge for trafficking survivors to meet existing labor needs. 

Some of the challenges that survivors face when entering the workforce are more obvious than others. The abuse that they lived through causes lasting damage. More than feeling worthless, these individuals actually know the price they were sold for. Their victimization was worth mere dollars, paid to their abusers. Learning their own value after living through this trauma takes effort, compassion, and patience on the survivors’ part as well as from those who serve them. 

In spite of the emotional and physical scars they carry, their desire to become independent is strong. 

Imagine the freedom a survivor must feel upon earning her first paycheck, the result of honest and chosen work, which she can spend as she chooses and needs. 

The process for a vulnerable individual to obtain meaningful employment is anything but simple. Here are just a few of the hurdles faced.

  • No home address to list on applications (many victims of human trafficking were initially vulnerable to abuse due to homelessness or unstable family situations)

  • No reliable transportation to job interviews and the workplace

  • No work experience

  • No business references

  • No identification (many victims are sold into trafficking before the age of 16) 

  • No work appropriate attire or resources to obtain it

  • No knowledge of how to “look for work.”  

  • No experience answering the question “what do you want to be?”

With your support, and in partnership with End Slavery Tennesse , Viable is pushing through these challenges one survivor at a time. Through existing connections with local employers, we are working with these unbelievably strong future employees to place them where they best fit. 

Often when we ask them what they’d like to do for work, it’s the first time they’ve ever been asked. It’s not uncommon for a young person with this history and no work experience to not be able to answer the question. In those cases, your connections open the doors for workplace tours, coffee meetings with potential mentors, and informative discussions with possible employers, all of which lead a survivor towards what they want to do. The hope we see on their faces is just the beginning of the powerful changes coming for these individuals.

If you want to help build the bridge to employment for survivors of human trafficking, contact us today. Of course, donations toward this cause are vital, but you may also possess key connections that will open doors for countless survivors as they work to stand on their own two feet. You may be called to be a mentor or an employer. Or you might feel called to help, but you’re not sure how. Send us a message and we’ll help you determine how you can be part of the solution for some of the strongest people we’ve ever met as they look to the future. 

We ache for a time when both the supply and demand for trafficking are wiped out. We can all work to be more educated about what human trafficking is, how to spot it, and how to prevent it. Justice U™ has created several thorough educational resources to help you learn just that. You can also visit reputable organizations like the Alliance for Freedom Restoration and Justice® to learn more about what is happening at the national and global levels to combat these crimes.

Helping human trafficking survivors overcome the challenges they face after rescue.

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Reese Parrott: Board Member

Reese is a seasoned professional in career development, with experience spanning entry-level to C-level roles across a wide variety of industries. She passionately advocates that employees are a company’s greatest asset and champions positive culture change by prioritizing the hiring of individuals who bring more than what’s listed in job descriptions. Reese excels in creating efficient processes, driving performance improvements, and establishing talent acquisition corporate divisions from the ground up. Her life’s work centered around helping others, and she found her true calling at Viable Inc, where she guides trauma survivors to discover meaningful work in the marketplace. Reese’s journey is one of empowerment, transformation, and a relentless commitment to the growth of individuals and organizations alike.