When an individual survives the exploitation and traumas of being trafficked, either for labor or sex, they endure excruciating mental and physical trauma, resulting in the need for immense healing.
Because trauma manifests itself so differently for each person, the care and services that survivors need must also be unique to each individual. Caring for survivors through their trauma and healing journey is what Call to Freedom excels at.
What is Call to Freedom?
Call to Freedom is a survivor-focused organization located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. At Call to Freedom, a human trafficking victim’s unique needs are met by a loving and caring staff that walks with the survivor through their healing journey. Along with the help of community partners, Call to Freedom is able to assist the survivor with their immediate needs–whether that’s medical assistance or emergency housing–as well as their long term needs, such as mental health counseling, supportive housing, legal assistance, parenting help, employment, or more. No matter the situation, Call to Freedom wants to be ready with solutions.
How Call to Freedom Works to End Human Trafficking
Becky, the executive director of Call to Freedom, shared with me that the staff understands the importance of actively listening to each survivor in order to learn what their individual needs are. When explaining their stories, survivors relive the traumatic events they endured. So, if a survivor is vulnerable and shares their story with a staff member, the staff makes sure to listen intently. They also never ask or force a survivor to share their story if the survivor is unwilling; sometimes the most important form of support comes from simply sitting next to a survivor while they work to process events in their own mind.
Becky shared that approximately 90% of victims they serve choose to leave trafficking permanently. Often, a survivor has children who are not in their care, so Call to Freedom has made it a goal to reunite parents with their child(ren), by offering parenting help and instructions. With this aid, the survivor is able to successfully keep custody of, and parent, their child(ren). In order to further accommodate the needs of the survivors they help, Call to Freedom has recently expanded their own housing program, Marisa’s House. They now have multiple apartment units that give survivors, and their children, a safe place to heal and thrive.
Unfortunately, there are also circumstances where a survivor chooses not to remain with Call to Freedom and leaves before full healing is possible. According to Becky, this is the most difficult part of working at Call to Freedom. However, each survivor has to make their own choice to continue their healing journey. No matter the choice of the survivor, the staff strives to provide grace and support to each and every person who enters or exits the doors of Call to Freedom. And, when a survivor does choose to leave Call to Freedom, the staff reminds them that they are always welcome to come back.
Call to Freedom’s Outreach & Projects
Call to Freedom is working hard to prevent trafficking by educating and training the community, which is something Becky is extremely passionate about. Special training programs are provided for school staffs and first responders that help them identify and handle human trafficking situations. This continual education for the public is an important first step to help prevent human trafficking.
Along with their housing and education programs, Call to Freedom continues to grow and expand their services and outreach. In the near future, they would like to further develop their youth programs. While youth intervention programs are already in place, Call to Freedom would also like to add a safe harbor specifically for young trafficking survivors. All of these projects require funding, and thanks to you, our Simply Earth customers, we are able to support Call to Freedom during July and August of 2022!
Call to Freedom Needs Your Help!
Becky explained that Call to Freedom needs to expand its fundraising efforts in order to become less dependent on government funds. She elaborated, saying that when an organization receives funds from the government, they are required to operate how the government wants them to. However, if they become independent from government help, Call to Freedom can expand in a way that better meets the needs of the survivors specifically in Sioux Falls.
Because of your purchases, Simply Earth is able to give 13% of their profits to organizations like Call to Freedom that fight to end human trafficking. We are so happy to be able to support Call to Freedom and help them meet this goal!
If you would like to learn more or get involved with Call to Freedom, you can visit their website. If you live in the Sioux Falls, SD area, you can also apply to volunteer with Call to Freedom.