How victims of human trafficking get economically empowered


(LAURA) THE EXPERTS EQUATE HUMAN TRAFFICKING TO MODERN SLAVERY. EXTENSIVE WORK — AND NO PAY. (KATIE) SO HOW DO YOU HELP THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN THROUGH SOME OF THE TOUGHEST EXPERIENCES POSSIBLE? OUR KAYLA GASKINS MET WITH THE FOUNDERS OF A LOCAL NON-PROFIT CALLED SURVIVOR VENTURES. AND THEY HAVE PIONEERED AN APPROACH TO HELPING VICTIMS IN HAMPTON ROADS. (KAYLA GASKINS REPORTING) THE FOUNDERS OF SURVIVOR VENTURES SAY THERE’S NO STANDARD, PROVEN MODEL ON HOW TO HELP PEOPLE WHO SUFFERED FROM THIS PARTICULAR TYPE OF VICTIMIZATION. SO THEY’VE CREATED A PLAN SPECIFIC TO HUMAN TRAFFICKING. THE GOAL? ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT — ACHIEVED BY TURNING VICTIMS INTO INDEPENDENT, SUCCESSFUL, SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS. HUMAN TRAFFICKERS HAVE ROBBED 24.9 MILLION PEOPLE ACROSS THE GLOBE OF THEIR FREEDOM… THAT ACCORDING A JUNE REPORT BY THE STATE DEPARTMENT. HAMPTON ROADS IS FAR FROM IMMUNE. TIFFANY MCGEE — THE FOUNDER OF SURVIVOR VENTURES — SAYS ANYWHERE FROM 40-80 VICTIMS ARE IDENTIFIED IN OUR AREA EVERY YEAR. TIFFANY MCGEE – EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF SURVIVOR VENTURES IT’S HARD TO KNOW THAT’S GOING ON AND PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO COME OUT OF THAT AND RECOVER AND NOT HELP. HOW TO HELP IS THE MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION. MCGEE AND COLLEAGUE SENTORIA HAROLD HAVE A NEW GAME PLAN THEY HOPE WILL PROVIDE LONG-TERM STABILITY TO VICTIMS. THEY PLAN ON TURNING THESE SURVIVORS INTO ENTREPRENEURS. SENTORIA HAROLD – MENTAL HEALTH AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE DIRECTOR SOMETIMES THEY”RE EXTREMELY OVERWHELMED BUT MANY OF THEM, THEIR EXCITED, BECAUSE WE ARE THE FIRST PEOPLE WHO THEY’VE EVER ENCOUNTERED WHO ARE WILLING TO INVEST IN THEM, INVEST IN THEIR LIVES AND INVEST IN THEIR FUTURE TO GIVE THEM THE OPPORTUNITY TO SEE THEMSELVES IN A DIFFERENT LIGHT. THE TWO YEAR PROGRAM STARTS WITH GIVING PARTICIPANTS AND THEIR CHILDREN– A SAFE PLACE TO CALL HOME– AN APARTMENT IN A SAFE AREA — FURNISHED BY COMMUNITY DONATIONS. FOR THE FIRST THREE MONTHS SURVIVOR VENTURES COVERS 100% OF THE RENT — THEN AFTER THREE MONTHS THEY COVER 75% AND SO ON. EVENTUALLY THE PARTICIPANT SHOULD BE ABLE TO COVER THE COST. ONCE HOUSING IS SECURED — SURVIVOR VENTURES PARTNERS WITH LOCAL SMALL BUSINESS TO EMPLOY THE VICTIMS. TIFFANY MCGEE – EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF SURVIVOR VENTURES AND THEY MIGHT NOT BE AT EMPLOYEE. WE PROVIDE THE WAGES, HELPING THE SMALL BUSINESS OWNER GET TO A POINT IN THEIR BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT WHERE THEY CAN ORGANICALLY HIRE THEIR FIRST EMPLOYEE. THE WAGE SYSTEM WORKS ON THE SAME GRADIATED PLAN AS THE RENT SYSTEM. WITH SURVIVOR VENTURES COVERING THE EMPLYEE’S SALARY UNTIL THE SMALL BUSINESS GROWS ENOUGH TO COVER THE COST. AFTER TWO YEARS OF WORK EXPERIENCE — SURVIVOR VENTURES WILL HELP PARTICIPANTS START THEIR OWN BUSINESS. WHICH FOR WE’RE ONE OF THE LAST STATES IN THE NATION TO HAVE ANY KIND OF EXPUNGEMENT OR SEALING OF PARTICIPANTS HAVE EXTENSIVE CRIMINAL BACKGROUNDS. EVEN IF THEY WERE FORCED TO COMMIT CRIMES LIKE SOLICITATION — THE CRIMINAL HISTORY WILL HAUNT VICTIMS– MAKING IT EXTREMELY DIFFICULT TO RENT AN APARTMENT OR GET A JOB. BUT IF SURVIVORS CAN OWN THEIR OWN BUSINESS — BE THEIR OWN BOSS — MAKE THEIR OWN MONEY — THEIR CHANCES OF SUCCEEDING IN THE WORLD ARE THAT MUCH GREATER. SURVIVOR VENTURES CURRENTLY HAS 8 PARTICIPANTS WHO ARE A FEW MONTHS INTO THE PROGRAM. THEY’RE AT THE MOMENT FUNDED BY PRIVATE DONATIONS — IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO HELP WE HAVE THAT INFORMATION UNDER THIS STORY ON WAVY DOT COM.

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