Helping Survivors of Child Sex Trafficking
When child sex trafficking victims are recovered, we wish we could say their trauma is over. The sad truth is that for many children, intervention is just the beginning of a long and challenging road to healing. Initial interactions with first line responders often directly impact children’s long-term success.
NCMEC created Hope Bags to help ensure that child sex trafficking victims are met with compassion and care. They provide survivors with basic items they need for those first few hours and days after they are recovered.
It is our hope that each time one of the thousands of Hope Bags NCMEC has distributed is handed to a child by an FBI agent, victim specialist or law enforcement officer it sends them a message that we are all here to help, that what has happened to them is not their fault, and that there are people out there who believe that they can have and deserve a life free from abuse. Along with the age appropriate clothing, toiletries and snacks stuffed into every bag, each child receives a message with our contact information and words of support letting them know we care.
It’s common to think children recovered from child sex trafficking have been “rescued.” However, survivors often describe the experience as a traumatic beginning on a long road to recovery. At the point of recovery the child is likely feeling a tremendous sense of anxiety and confusion, while wondering:
- Am I in trouble/ being arrested?
- Is my trafficker going to punish me?
- What will happen next?
- Are all these strangers judging me because of what I am wearing or what has been done to me?
Your donation provides survivors with a Hope Bag and other valuable resources to rebuild their lives. Your support will contribute towards our mission to help bring an end to child sexual exploitation and find the missing.