Event Feature: Free the Captives Restoration Runway Fashion Show: How one Houston non-profit is bringing freedom to teenage sex trafficking victims through fashion.

According to The Polaris Project, sex trafficking is “a form of modern slavery that exists throughout the United States and globally. Sex traffickers use violence, threats, lies, debt bondage, and other forms of coercion to compel adults and children to engage in commercial sex acts against their will. Under U.S. federal law, any minor under the age of 18 years induced into commercial sex is a victim of sex trafficking—regardless of whether or not the trafficker used force, fraud, or coercion.” (polarisproject.org)

Texas has been identified as a hub for sex trafficking. According to a 2014 Texas DPS report, “about a quarter of all sex trafficking happens in Texas.” (Texas Department of Public Service, “Assessing the Threat of Human Trafficking in Texas.” 2014).

  • Globally, the average cost of a slave is $90. (Do Something )
  • Trafficking primarily involves exploitation which comes in many forms, including: forcing victims into prostitution, subjecting victims to slavery or involuntary servitude and compelling victims to commit sex acts for the purpose of creating pornography. (dosomething.org)
  • According to some estimates, approximately 80% of trafficking involves sexual exploitation, and 19% involves labor exploitation. (dosomething.org)
  • There are approximately 20 to 30 million slaves in the world today.
    According to the U.S. State Department, 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year, of which 80% are female and half are children.  (dosomething.org)

Free the Captives is an  anti-human trafficking, faith based,  non-profit that fights the exploitation and trafficking of Houston’s youth. With a mission to engage and mobilize the community, Free the Captives partners with other non-profits, law enforcement, and government agencies to fight against modern day slavery. In addition to working with the community and other groups, Free the Captives empowers victims of human trafficking through direct services including education and employment.

Free the Captives’ Mission is simple:

  • RESCUE trafficked teenagers by working closely with law enforcement,
  • RESTORE victims by providing direct services such as mentoring, tutoring, shelter, & material assistance,
  • EMPLOY victims in  job programs and provide much needed income and life skills
  • PREVENT trafficking through programming for at-risk teenaged girls and providing education in schools,
  • DETER and reduce the demand by focusing on the buyers/Johns through a “Buy Sex? Bye, bye Freedom!” billboard, radio and TV campaign,
  • CONDUCT RESEARCH to provide much needed data and to shape public policy, and
    EDUCATE thousands of people each year through an annual conference and trainings.

Free the Captives rescued teens are guided in the creation of beautiful candles.  These candles are sold to the public to help continue job programs and life skill classes for the teens.  A job is vital for these girls because it helps stop them from returning to the “life” because they are able to earn a viable income and essential job skills. Upon receiving her first paycheck, one of their girls shared, “I am so proud of this paycheck! This is the first time I’ve earned money where no one has used my body for it.”

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How Can You Help?

Join Free the Captives on March 2nd for their Restoration Runway Fashion Show to help these young teens.   Funds raised during this event will go towards purchasing a permanent space to house their job program and support group for teen trafficking survivors. It will help provide a safe place for these girls where they can learn, grow, and heal. All proceeds benefit Free the Captives and the teenage trafficking survivors they serve. To purchase tickets and for more information, please visit: Free The Captives Fashion Show.

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Purchase a candle made by a teen rescued from sex trafficking.  Not only will you be purchasing a hand made candle, but you will be restoring faith and pride in the life of a teen.  Help a teen to heal and support this beautiful cause by purchasing a hand made candle and a ticket to The 2nd Annual Restoration Fashion Show.

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All Photos courtesy of Free The Captives Organization.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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