Safe place for sex trafficking victims: 'Coming together to change a life'
PORTLAND, Ore. - The non-profit Compassion First is opening a new safe place for victims of sex trafficking in Portland.
The project is in partnership with the Salvation Army, and it gives those women a safe place to live.
"They get a bed, they get a dresser and chair and a closet," said Jennifer, a survivor now helping others find life after abuse. "You can shut the door and lock it, you can put your covers on and know that no one's going to hurt you and you don't have to have nightmares I love that."
After battling drugs and sex abuse as a teen, Jennifer Unangst has made it her mission to help women going through a similar experience.
"After being abused, it just destroyed my self-worth, my self-identity. So I felt dirty, like I had no value. And that led me into a life of drug addiction, as a teen and homelessness," Jennifer said.
Jennifer was lucky. She was saved from a life of abuse.
"So much has been taken away from them. When you're involved in sex trafficking, you have a pimp or trafficker, basically everything that you do is controlled. Everything that you've had has been taken away," she said.
Now's her time to give back, by showing these women unconditional love.
"It's a community, coming together to change a life and that's what we're doing, we're working together, we're locking arms and it's awesome," Jennifer said.
There is a big fundraiser for Compassion First coming up next Saturday, August 22.
Organizers said it will cost $12,000 a year to house one woman (roughly $1,000 a month). The goal is to help at least 10 move into the rooms and get the help they need. You can go to their website to find out more about the event.