To reach and restore women caught in sex trafficking and sexual exploitation.
To reach and restore lives impacted by sex trafficking and sexual exploitation.
When Created Gainesville launched in 2012, our mission was to reach and restore women caught in sex trafficking and sexual exploitation. This statement communicated the main point of our organization -- reaching the women in our local communities that were being exploited in plain sight, and walking with them on their paths to restoration. Relying on this statement, we laid the foundation of Created Gainesville.
Fast-forward to a few years later, we began to notice that our mission and the language surrounding it held a reactionary stance to the realities of sex trafficking and sexual exploitation. We've always known that we didn't solely want to respond to the exploitation in our city, but instead to play an active role in eradicating it from our community. Unfortunately, this was not made clear in our mission statement, and it impacted the way people understood our organization. When meeting with potential new supporters, we felt a disconnect between what our mission said we were doing and what we were actually doing. To those unfamiliar with our organization, it seemed as if we only worked with women who had a history of sex trafficking and sexual exploitation. In reality, we were also in the midst of developing awareness presentations for all types of local groups and youth prevention curriculum to keep children safe, as well as creating outreach opportunities for men and women to be a part of.
In addition to this, we realized we were not effectively communicating that the presence of sex trafficking and sexual exploitation in a community impacts everyone, not just the women and girls involved. Our subconscious acceptance or even claimed ignorance that trafficking and exploitation happens in Gainesville normalizes it to some level for us. From sexually oriented business popping up on all sides of town to the increasing use of porn among men, women and adolescents, the presence of trafficking affects us all. Brokenness begets brokenness.
By claiming our reaching and restoring applied only to the women we served, we unintentionally excluded a key part of our community from getting involved with our work: men. While men and boys are trafficked significantly less than women and girls (National Human Trafficking Hotline Statistics*), the sex industry has extremely detrimental effects on men. The pornography industry fuels sex trafficking, and men - across all relationship stages - have been shown to engage in porn much more frequently than women in the same stages (The Institute for Family Studies*). Sex trafficking in turn also fuels the porn industry. According to Fight the New Drug*, "exposure to porn has been found to be one of the most consistent risk factors associated with human trafficking. And after victims are ensnared, porn is often used to desensitize them to the acts in which they will be forced to engage. Quite literally, porn feeds human trafficking and human trafficking feeds porn."
We are not only for the restoration of the women being trafficked, but also for the men caught in the bondage of pornography, the women and men that frequent strip clubs, and the children impacted by the increasingly sexualized media environment. When people join the movement to end sex trafficking, a part of their own souls is restored. It does us all good to be involved in this fight, together. While reaching and restoring women caught in sex trafficking and sexual exploitation remains a key function of our organization, in 2019 we strategically redefined our mission to reaching and restoring lives impacted by sex trafficking and sexual exploitation.
We humbly invite you to join this movement with us, for every individual is called to respond to the injustice of slavery. Whether it's financially supporting us, leading a street outreach, mentoring a Created Care participant or a combination of the three, you have a place on our team.
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