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Safe Haven Ministries to aid survivors of human trafficking

Shadow of two tied hands with the words "Human Trafficking" written over it in white
Safe Haven Ministries to aid survivors of human trafficking

Services include emergency safe shelter, telehealth, and mobile advocacy.

Safe Haven Ministries, a West Michigan nonprofit focused on preventing and ending relationship abuse, has expanded its crisis response services to survivors of human trafficking, including both sex and labor trafficking.

The announcement came Monday, January 10 during national Human Trafficking Awareness and Prevention month. Services include emergency safe shelter, telehealth and mobile advocacy.

While Safe Haven said there limited existing data on human trafficking, the organization shares it's committed to identifying and understanding the issue in West Michigan communities.

“Human trafficking devastates people’s lives through coercive control and abusive power and our advocates see signs of exploitation in our community. We are committed to working with our partners to collaborate and provide a holistic response to support victims and increase our community’s commitment to serving our neighbors experiencing violence,” Rachel VerWys, Executive Director, said.

A recent, local study conducted by SEE | Human Trafficking Coalition indicates the average age of entry for victims of human trafficking in West Michigan is 15 years of age. Safe Haven Ministries said human trafficking, like domestic violence, is built upon a pattern of power and control. The group said acknowledging this intersection will help in their prevention work.

Survivors of domestic violence, abuse, and exploitation can connect with Safe Haven Ministries through their 24/7 crisis phone line or text messaging at 616-452-6664 or via web chat at www.shmgr.org.

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