The focus of Traffick Refuge is restoration. It is our vision to provide safe homes for the victims of domestic sex trafficking where they are loved and free to heal, learn their value, get an education, guidance, and a new direction for their lives. We will provide general education thru the local public school, animal therapy, trauma counseling, medical and dental, dance, writing, cooking, art, personal finance and life skills classes. We encourage multi-generational interaction and a family atmosphere where life is spoken. We currently have nearly 6000sf to house 10 girls. It is our vision to build cabins on the existing 12 acres using the existing house as the main lodge and gathering place. Adjacent properties are available and would be suitable for transitional housing.
For years we have heard about the trafficking of children overseas and have been deeply disturbed by the situation. In frustration we wondered what we could do other than financial support. It was our desire to bring these children to our home in the Rockies but knew that was not practical. In the spring of 2012 we first heard about the staggering number of American children that are being sold into slavery, estimated at 300,000 per year. These children are coerced and abducted off the streets, schools and buses to be drugged and raped to prepare them to be sold. The average age of these children is estimated at 11 years old and the average life span is 7 years. The United States has funding and legislation to help children from other countries , while there has been little protective legislation and services to care for our own. Children picked up for prostitution in the US have been charged as criminals and imprisoned while their “pimps” have too often gone free. Law enforcement has been frustrated in how to identify and place these children.There are far too few beds available in the US for the juvenile victims of sex trafficking.
For 19 years we have lived in a large log home in the northern Rockies. It has been our pleasure to use this home to finish raising our own three daughters and grandchildren as well as taking in teens and allowing churches to use this place to bring in hurting people of all ages and walks of life. We simply could not turn away after hearing what was going on in our nation.
In April 2012, we began to contact the foundations that have been started to identify and rescue trafficked children. We were sent our first child, a 17 year old girl, in May 2012. She was coerced off a bus at 15 when her father sent her to her mother's house in Chicago from Dallas with no money, no food, and no phone. She was drugged, raped, pistol whipped and sold for 2 years before calling the national trafficking hotline. She has received trauma counseling, medical care, her GED, lessons in cooking, horseback riding , shopping and dance while at our home as well as all the love, guidance, and direction we could give. She has gone home to Dallas to begin college for a career in radiology.
Our second “daughter” was molested by a family member at 7 and raped at 14 by a neighbor She was picked up by 2 pimps when she ran away from home. She was arrested for prostitution and thrown in jail until a trafficking foundation identified her as a minor victim. She has hopes to finish her GED and enter the navy. She is a delightful young lady who loves to write poetry and dance.
Our third “daughter” Adrian arrived two days before Christmas, Dec. 23rd, 2012. She had been living with whoever would take her in. Adrian was raped by her adopted father and brother at the age of 5. She was sold by her family and forced to have an abortion at the age of 11. Her family sold her for years until she found her mother dead and her adopted father ended up in a coma from a fight. Her brother sold her to a pimp at 14. She was given illegal drugs to perform. She escaped when she was 15 and lived wherever she could until a friend helped her get in touch with a trafficking foundation who sent her to Montana to live.
Adrian has a desire to care for children and work with handicapped children, particularly Down’s Syndrome. She is studying for her GED, has been certified to work at the local daycare and is studying to take her driving test.
She has nightmares that have lessened some.
After almost forty years of marriage, one thing we have seen consistently is that children are hungry for stability and security. A home with loving and stable parents meets this need better than an institution or facility. It is our sincere desire to help these children heal and pursue the dreams they had before they were stolen from them. Please help us to do that.