Trafficking in the United States is an almost $10 billion a year industry which primarily targets women. For eleven years, Refuge for Women (RFW) has been providing specialized long-term care for women who have escaped sex trafficking or sexual exploitation. Now RFW has opened an emergency shelter in KY with the capacity to serve 50-80 women each year. This home will provide trauma-informed services for trafficking victims immediately after rescue or upon their decision to leave.
RFW President Ked Frank talks about the purpose of the new shelter, “What this house is going to do is allow for law enforcement and other non-government organizations to get women off the streets and immediately get them into a safe place.”
Ricky Lynn, a detective in the Department of Criminal Investigations under the KY Attorney General explains, “Right now if I found a [trafficked] person somewhere in the state of Kentucky the best I can do for them is put them in a hotel room alone and that doesn’t work; these are people that need help; they need to be with a professional.”
“Kentucky’s law enforcement leadership continues to prioritize its efforts toward rescuing victims and convicting traffickers. We should expect the number of victims to grow each year as the public and the police become more aware of the human trafficking issues right here in our Commonwealth. We urgently need an appropriate facility that can take these individuals from the streets and start treating their immediate needs of traumatic abuse, drug addiction and manipulative control forced upon them.” John R. Moberly, former Commissioner, Department of Criminal Investigations KY Office of the AG.
The Refuge for Women KY Emergency Housing and Support Services program is designed to offer women immediate access to temporary housing, crisis intervention, and other support services. The emergency housing program provides emergency shelter for female survivors of sex trafficking and sexual violence/exploitation. RFW’s mission is to provide women a safe environment that fosters the development of a vision of the future.
To stay up to date with the latest news and happenings, follow RFW on Facebook or visit their website at www.refugeforwomen.org or www.emergencyhousingky.org