Safe Haven supports human trafficking survivors

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Courtesy Safe Haven Ministries

A West Michigan nonprofit extended its services to survivors of human trafficking.

Safe Haven Ministries crisis response services, including emergency safe shelter, telehealth and mobile advocacy, now are available to survivors of human trafficking, including victims of both sexes and labor trafficking, on the mark of National Human Trafficking Prevention Month.

A recent study conducted by local nonprofit Solutions to End Exploitation indicated the average age of entry for human trafficking victims in West Michigan is 15 years. With its newly extended services, Safe Haven is working to identify the pervasiveness of exploitation and to prevent and end patterns of abuse.

“Human trafficking devastates people’s lives through coercive control and abusive power, and our advocates see signs of exploitation in our community,” said Rachel VerWys, executive director, Safe Haven Ministries. “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.”

In 2021, the organization received 2,715 crisis contacts and served 79 households in their shelter. Safe Haven offers emergency safe shelter and client advocacy and engages with community partners through education and systems change initiatives with the goal of creating a culture of violence prevention.

Survivors of domestic violence, abuse and exploitation can contact Safe Haven’s 24/7 crisis phone line, call (616) 452-6664 or visit shmgr.org.

More information on National Human Trafficking Prevention Month is here.

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