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  • Writer's pictureKim Westfall, Founder

One Person Trained, One Survivor Free!

“You aren’t going to believe this. One of our team members was sitting at home this afternoon eating lunch with his entire family. All of a sudden, their front door burst open and there was a girl there,” the man told our European director. This man was the owner of an ophthalmologist’s office who treated Annabelle last year when our team at The Sanctuary realized she was legally blind.

Our team stayed in touch with this gentleman and got a call from him a couple weeks ago. “I feel really strongly that you need to come and train my team in anti-human trafficking strategies so they can identify traffick victims when they come across them,” he told our European Director, Beni.

Beni told him he was very busy and about to go to the states. The man insisted. “I really feel like this needs to happen as soon as possible,” he said. Beni was able to make time in his schedule to train the staff and went onto his trip shortly after.

Shortly after this Beni received the call that connected us with a young woman in desperate need, we will call Tamara.

The owner of the business mean told Beni the girl who arrived at his team member’s door was beaten and battered. She was soaking wet and terrified. The family got her inside and calmed down. They were able to talk to her and realized she was a trafficking victim who had escaped from her trafficker just a couple buildings away. Because of the training he had received, the staff member knew what to do when Tamara arrived at his doorstep!

Beni called our team in Romania who launched into action! The family hid her in their apartment for a few hours until our team got there. She was badly beaten—black eyes, fractured jaw and cheek bone, broken ribs, and internal bleeding. Our team took her to five different hospitals for treatment. They got her some medication and clean clothes and took her to a safe place where she collapsed and slept the entire next day.

Her physical pain is healing slowly and she has a long way to total healing. But she is safe and secure now. She is free!

While the primary mission of the Sanctuary is bringing healing to survivors, we know the training we do aids this mission in ways we may not see for days, months, or years. One person trained can translate into identifying and caring for dozens of survivors!

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