As 2019 begins, many of us have made resolutions and are actively working to add them to our daily routines. One of mine is to not allow what I see in the media, including social media pass by without caring or DOING SOMETHING about it.
Most recently, as the R.Kelly docuseries aired, I didn’t want to have to challenge all of the misinformation about child sexual abuse and exploitation that I witnessed. At the same time, our hotlines, requests for emergency hospital advocacy, and services were skyrocketing! How could I not speak up and stand up for these children, particularly Black girls, who are often forgotten or blamed for their abuse? I must recommit and stay the course.
Will you join me and CHH this year as we stay the course? Follow us online, share our information, refer a friend, talk to a child, educate your family members, become a volunteer or donate. Whatever way you choose, stick with it and stick with us at CHH! We need each and every one of you as members of our community.
Happy New Year!
Isa Woldeguiorguis, Executive Director
Clemency for Cyntoia Brown!
January marks the annual observance of Human Trafficking Awareness Month, and what great timing to recognize the strength, resilience and success of survivors.
On January 7th, 2019, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam granted clemency to Cyntoia Brown, a survivor of childhood sexual exploitation, who at the age of 16 was sentenced to life in prison, following an act of self defense.
While we celebrate the early release of Ms. Brown and the passionate work of human trafficking activists all around the country, we recognize the injustice that survivors of human trafficking face every day, particularly girls of color and Black girls. During 2017, more than 8,500 cases of potential human trafficking were reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline. Survivors of human trafficking are constantly under the threat of sexual violence.
At CHH, we support and believe all survivors of sexual violence. We are a part of the solution to end human trafficking. We co-chair the Lowell Child Sexual Exploitation Task Force and hope that you will reach out and learn more about that work. This Friday, January 11th, wear blue to raise awareness about human trafficking and to show your solidarity to survivors.
We offer free and confidential counseling to survivors of human trafficking and sexual violence and a 24/7 hotline. Call 800-542-5212 or 978-452-7721 for support or click here to learn more about our services.
2018: A Watershed Year!
We stood ready to respond during this year of awareness around #MeToo, #TimesUp, and the continued awareness of the bravery of survivors! CHH staff and volunteers responded to huge increases in requests for services totaling 2,502 survivors and loved ones and a 52% increase in hotline calls compared to FY17. We built a passionate and informed community of 24 volunteer advocates and expanded our reach to support and services to 1,000 people, including LGBQ/T youth, men and boys, and community providers. On December 4th, 2018, we hosted our Annual Meeting and Holiday Gathering and reflected on our work. We would like to thank all the wonderful board members, staff, volunteers, and community members who attended and celebrated with us. We had such a great night full of laughter, joy, and community. Click here to read our FY18 Annual Report.