For many victims of human trafficking, escaping the walls that confined them doesn’t always mean they’ve escaped the nightmare.
“There’s not a lot of centers or houses, safe houses for survivors to go to,” said Brande Urban, the Director of Community Impact with the United Way of Delaware County.
Without a support system experts say survivors can find themselves trapped once again.
The Salvation Army of Central Ohio serves as a direct service provider for survivors of human trafficking helping them create safety plans, providing mental healthcare, as well as help dealing with alcohol and drug dependency.
But in 2013, the United Way of Delaware County formed a partnership with the Salvation Army in hopes of doing more.
“I think that’s some of the biggest impact to be able to have these women feel like people care about me outside of the Salvation Army of Central Ohio or any of the other care givers,” Urban said.
Those people being their neighbors.
People, who the coalition has spent years teaching the signs of human trafficking.
“We just saw the other day, in Reynoldsburg a suburb. A couple. We don’t think it’s next door to us a lot of times,” Urban pointed out Saturday but thanks to the coalition, leaders say now many more are aware of how close it could happen to them.
“We’re getting more tips to our Central Ohio Human Trafficking Hotline,” Samantha Hudson the Regional Anti-Human Trafficking Program Coordinator with Salvation Army of Central Ohio pointed out.
Giving more victims a chance at survival.
“You know it’s not about us or them, it’s about the survivors, the victims,” Urban said.
In two weeks the coalition will travel to Dallas for a worldwide United Way conference, where the coalition model used in Delaware County will be shared.