Providing a safe technology space for women in need

The Zonta Club of Blackfoot and Operation Shield in Idaho, USA, partnered to open the Advocacy Center, a safe location where commercial sex trafficking survivors can receive trauma counseling and support to recover from their experiences.

The Advocacy Center’s therapists are specifically trained to meet the needs of commercial sex trafficking survivors. The center also provides case management services, peer support/victim advocates from other survivors, family support when needed, skills training services, employment support, assistance with finding appropriate housing and referrals to a safe house.

With a US$5,000 grant from Zonta International, the Advocacy Center opened at the end of 2019 with four full-time therapists who provided 1,139 hours of therapy between 15 December 2019 and 15 June 2020. Of the center’s 120 patients, 86 are women or children who have been impacted by commercial sex trafficking and other forms of sexual exploitation. Operation Shield expects to serve 200 individuals impacted by commercial sex trafficking and sexual exploitation in a year.

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