In 2014, Monica was 16 and living in a specialized foster care placement for sexually abused girls. Through our Life Support program, Monica received a volunteer mentor, Leslie. Over the course of a year, the two interacted weekly, and developed a trusting bond.
Monica left foster care in the fall of 2015, and Leslie lost contact. Six months later, January 11, 2016 is etched in Leslie’s mind. She received a desperate text from Monica late that night. It was a plea for help. Monica was homeless, among men, and terrified. We found her a hotel room for the night. We worked to get her into a shelter. She began to stabilize in a safer environment.
We don’t know the end of Monica’s story. She remains vulnerable, unfortunately an easy target for toxic men.
The community must help. How?
Many children in foster care are stable because of the care given early and given consistently by foster parents, case workers, teachers, mentors, guardian ad litems, advocates – people like Leslie, people like you. We just need more of you.
Change begins with awareness and action. Become a foster parent, a mentor, a guardian ad litem, a tutor, an advocate. Give financial support to organizations working on behalf of these children. Educate yourself about human trafficking and sexual abuse. Practice kindness. Seek to lessen the pain of those in need. We are all fragile humans.
Some Upstate SC Resources:
Every year, the Super Bowl is a reminder that human trafficking exists (or thrives). As reported, 169 people were arrested in Atlanta last week. Read the story.