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Most Americans believe that Human Trafficking is something that happens overseas, deep in third world countries where men and women are forced into sweatshops. But people don’t associate Human Trafficking with America. Unfortunately, Human Trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children and adults is a horrific reality throughout the United States. Statistics are hard to find, but it is estimated that there are 100,000 – 300,000 children currently being sold for sex in the US (according to the Polaris Project and a report by the MD Rescue & Restore Coalition). To bring this closer to home, a 2011 prostitution sting operation in Little Rock, Arkansas revealed that 50% of those arrested were either actively being trafficked or in prostitution as a direct result of being trafficked at an earlier age and 85% of those we have served since opening in 2011 are born, raised and sold right here in Arkansas.
Why are stats so hard to find? Many of those arrested or rescued may not readily disclose that they are victims of sex-related crimes for a variety of reasons including fear, mistrust, and effects of the trauma. Several survivors PATH has worked with, most often minors, state that they stopped trying to tell people about being forced to have sex because the guardian, law enforcement officer, counselor, etc. “didn’t believe me.” Some young women have even complained that they were ”laughed at.” Regardless of the rationale for this type of response from adults and professionals, most of which may be a simple lack of education, once victims shut down from telling their stories, they are much less likely to even attempt to tell them again. Additionally, things such as effects of trauma, brainwashing, or Stockholm Syndrome can cause a survivor to misinterpret what has happened to them. 90% of the women that have participated in the PATH Program vacillated between believing that they were forced to sell their bodies and stating they chose that lifestyle, even though the facts clearly define a trafficking situation.
MISSION: PATH advocates for those victimized by the sex-industry by providing a safe environment where healing can occur, making success possible and dreams achievable.
PATH + Is a program specifically designed to care for survivor-offenders. These are people who are known as offenders but have fallen into that trap as a result of the trauma of childhood sexual assault.
Campus PATH – working with colleges and universities statewide to establish and maintain anti-trafficking groups on every campus in Arkansas.
Our Philosophy: God is at the center of all we do. We are committed to building God’s Kingdom and integrating faith, healing, learning and action.
Our success depends on your involvement. Join in the fight against Human Trafficking.