Halfway through third grade, Gia* was taken out of school to help support her family.
Growing up in an underprivileged home in Cambodia, her family struggled to generate enough income to eat. In Gia’s teenage years, she felt more pressure to support the family financially.
One day, a woman approached her with pictures of big houses, nice cars, and happy families. The woman offered a solution—marry abroad to have a better life and provide for her family.
Gia accepted. But when she arrived abroad, she was locked in a room and stripped of her legal documents. What she thought was a promising future was something very different.
Desperate to help, Gia accepted and packed her bags. But when she arrived abroad, she was locked in a room and stripped of her legal documents. Abused since day one and forced into sexual exploitation, Gia lost hope of ever seeing her family again.
Until one day, a couple noticed she was trapped. The couple was aware of human trafficking and helped Gia escape through an open window. Gia braved the dangerous journey across the border back to Cambodia without legal documents. Upon her return, she was referred to A21’s aftercare program.
Today, Gia is safe, free, and taking steps towards restoration—regaining her strength through counseling, life skills training, and vocational support to restore a life of independence. We’re proud of Gia’s accomplishments and grateful to be part of her journey to freedom.
The couple’s awareness was the difference between exploitation or freedom for Gia.
Will you give today to help us spread awareness and prevention everywhere, forever?
As we begin planning for this new venture, we look forward to the new avenues of care this center will provide for survivors in our aftercare programs. The center will be based in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and is expected to open later this year.
The Freedom Center is at the core of A21’s Restore Strategy–it's an independent, community-based model of aftercare.
From holistic healthcare and one-on-one support to job training and life skills, your support gives survivors of human trafficking a fresh start and a hopeful future. Providing a sense of home, a safe place to heal, rediscover hope, and take steps toward restoration and independence.
Action starts with awareness so mark your calendar and get ready to join us on END IT day—February 25, 2021.
A21 is a proud partner of the END IT Movement, which focuses its energy toward making the world aware of the fact that not only does slavery still exist, but that it’s more prevalent now than at any other time in history.
By using your voice and your social media platform, you can share the reality of human trafficking and invite your community to be part of the solution.
After years of sexual abuse in her home country, this young woman accepted what she thought was a ticket to a new life abroad. Targeted by a trafficking ring, who capitalized on her vulnerability, she was locked up and forced into prostitution. A21 is assisting with medical care for her and her baby, psychological support, and additional basic needs as she regains her strength and restores her future.
Because of your support, this woman gave birth in safety and is on a journey to freedom. We can't thank you enough.
A survivor's graduation from A21's program is a significant time in their restoration journey. Throughout their time with A21, survivors and A21 caseworkers are collectively working together to understand various vulnerabilities, both existing and future, as outlined in the International Justice Mission’s Assessment of Survivor Outcomes:
These categories have been studied and identified as making survivors highly vulnerable to revictimization if they aren't addressed. Therefore, our Aftercare team develops effective plans on how to overcome these vulnerabilities.
Once survivors feel they have outworked their goals in all of these areas and developed solid plans for potential vulnerabilities in the future, they’re ready for graduation. It’s a positive moment for survivors as they journey towards independence, meaning they no longer need A21's programs and they’re truly thriving on their own! (This is our goal for every survivor in our care.)
To make the accomplishment of graduation extremely special, survivors choose their favorite meal to share alongside their caseworker and other A21 staff that was important to their restoration journey. At the celebration, A21 presents the survivor with a letter that has their initials monogrammed at the top and outlines their accomplishments during their time with A21. This letter highlights what they’ve accomplished and how much they’ve overcome since joining our program.
The commencement celebration not only makes graduation a positive moment in a survivor's life, where they can be celebrated but it also helps them see they’re in control of their future and success. This instills a sense of empowerment in them as they leave A21's care and move into the next stage of life.
This survey is only 7 questions long, and we read every response. Your input matters to us, as we learn how to improve our communication and find out what you want to hear more about.
95 victims identified.
51 new survivors in our care.
1,339 frontline professionals trained.
2,136 hotline calls linked to trafficking.
We are so encouraged by these numbers, but we want you to meet one of the faces behind them. Meet Leslie*. Her life was changed because of your support.
Leslie was looking for love and a stable life for her children. As a mother of two, Leslie worked extremely hard balancing two jobs and she loved her children more than anything. One day, she met a handsome man who made her feel loved and eventually promised her a better life and a steady job so she could save to support her family. Leslie wanted to give her children the best chance at life possible–so she decided to move and temporarily leave her kids with their father.
When she got there, they were living in hotels and one day, Leslie's boyfriend asked her if she would sleep with someone to pay for next week's rent.
She wasn't comfortable but didn't want to compromise her relationship or her family's future.
After doing this a few times, her boyfriend started bringing other women around to do the same thing. She felt hurt, betrayed, and devastated–so she decided to leave.
After several attempts to leave and years of physical and sexual abouse, Leslie was finally uncovered by law enforcement and assisted to safety from her trafficker.
This is when Leslie's journey to restoration began.
She started working with A21, receiving trauma counseling and psychological services, and was eventually reunited with her children. It's the support of people like you that empowers survivors like Leslie to hope in freedom, wholeness, and a promising future.
Last year, through Amazon Wish List, our aftercare team provided Easter baskets for our survivors and their children because of the generosity of supporters like you. This year, we want to provide you an amazing opportunity again. With the current pandemic, our team is inviting you to provide COVID-19 Care Packages for our survivors and their families.When you purchase an item from the A21 Amazon Wish List, the items are sent directly to our U.S. aftercare team in Charlotte, North Carolina where they will personally deliver the items to survivors.