Two years ago, UAHT set out to increase the identification of exploited men, women, and children in Houston. We expanded our services from professional education and community awareness to include outreach and supportive programming. We were excited, eager, and ready to broaden our reach in the community. There was such temptation to dive in and do anything and everything we believed survivors needed.
When life kicks someone down, often traffickers swoop in, masking exploitation with kindness. They are the first-responders, grasping easy prey to make money for their own gain. Soon after, victims want to break free – yet how?
Many times, they are unaware of avenues for help, or are so mentally exhausted they simply don’t have any hope that life can be different. Because their chains aren’t visible, they often go overlooked. Exploitation is so ingrained in our society that it becomes difficult to recognize.
But now you know. You want to act, make a difference. What are tangible steps you can take?
1. Educate Yourself, Your Family, and Your friends
Social determinants such as homelessness, poverty, and abuse are breeding grounds for human trafficking. These vulnerabilities funnel kids, men, and women into labor and sex trafficking.
Learn the signs and risk factors that enable trafficking, so you can spot and report it. Our Human Trafficking 101 is a great start!
2. Believe in Your Individual Impact
1-888-373-788 is the National Human Trafficking Hotline number. Save this number in your phone – and more importantly, call to report a tip. Making a call doesn’t feel as satisfying as watching Liam Neeson single-handedly rescue his daughter from a European trafficking ring – but this call is still crucial to making a difference. Simple changes can also include buying fair trade, talking to the workers at a nail salon, or handing out a workers’ rights guide to a day-laborer.
These are all necessary steps we need every community member to take. Underestimating your individual impact will make the difference in creating freedom, or perpetuating enslavement. Find out how to volunteer with UAHT.
3. Fund Anti-Human Trafficking Efforts
You fund anti-human trafficking efforts; you break the cycle of slavery permeating our city. When you support UAHT, children and teenagers learn how to stay safe from predators, and victims are shown the path to freedom. Everyday we provide critical resources to the children, men, and women left exposed on the streets. Our work in the jail system allows us to reach a unique and under-resourced group. We equip professionals, overwhelmed with their responsibilities, to combat human trafficking effectively and efficiently.
Every moment we are actively fighting for the victims of this horrific crime. Each day we progress towards our goal of ending human trafficking. By giving today at $15 or more monthly, you bring hope and freedom to Houston. Will you join us?
Before this program I did not know that resources existed for women like us… – Nikki
Women like us. When I heard Nikki say those words I was reminded why we created Real Talk. Our team developed the ten-week, trauma informed program in 2017 after recognizing how many women and children are overlooked. People in the criminal justice and child welfare systems are high-risk populations for trafficking, yet they are the most unidentified. Lured with the promise of employment, shelter and affection, they are particularly susceptible to coercion, abuse and face the risk of victimization by traffickers. We decided it was time to create a space for these women where they could finally speak.
The holiday’s are filled with family, friends, and community celebrating together. However, UAHT deals with the sad reality that there are victims of exploitation all around us, even during this wonderful season. Our role as an organization is to be the voice of those trapped in exploitation. You can help provide strength, support, and hope to individuals in our community.
A gift of $25.00 can provide incentive items for youth in our programs. Incentive items help UAHT build rapport and has been the difference between receiving disclosures and youth walking out the door
A gift of $50.00 or more can provide 10 Hygiene Kits with human trafficking information for our outreach on the streets of Houston. These kits provide more than essentials, each contains a hand written note bringing joy to those who receive them.
Awareness keeps our communities safe. Give the gift of peace knowing that $250.00 or more can provide 30 youth with critical prevention education.
Prevention is key to ending cycles of exploitation. A gift of $1,000.00 or more can help 30 youth create a safety plan as we walk them through our 5 module youth prevention program. This program helps youth understand that kindness can go a long way in the path to prevention.
A gift of $1,800.00 or more can provide our 10 module Real Talk program to individuals considered high-risk for exploitation yet remain unidentified. Give love this holiday season and help UAHT built trust with individuals to help them out of these exploitative situations.
If you would like to give a gift in honor of someone who has made an impact in your life, simply leave a note when you donate online along with their contact information. We will send them a letter informing them of your donation, and include the special note you provided. It’s the perfect gift for the anti-human trafficking advocate in your life!
A Note From Our Youth
“I learned that it’s very easy to get manipulated by somebody you don’t know. A lot of human traffickers look like a normal person and innocent”
“I was one of them. I stayed with him because it seemed like he cared about me and I never felt loved before but I knew it was too good to be true because he made me do all the drugs in the world. But I over came it and now I share my story to other girls and also the world.”
*To view our original publication, please visit http://mailchi.mp/uaht/a-chance-to-give*
How You Can Help!
Where to Donate:
UAHT Offices at 2002 S. Wayside Dr. Houston Texas 77023
When: By December 18th
Please contact our office at 713-874-0290 to schedule drop off
What to include:
Large Freezer Zip Lock Bags (will be used to hold items)
First Aid Kits
Travel sized umbrellas