NEWS

What's Happening

Search

“I know what kind of man you are. I see your heart for trafficking survivors and your passion for the cause”, the prosecutor said to our team member.

The prosecutor and our team had been fighting for 2 trafficking survivors in court all week. Their former trafficker had tracked down the ladies and learned that they had both become successful businesswomen.

He was now suing them for breach of contract.

You see, they had signed a contract years before to travel to another country for employment at a hotel. Of course they never made it to the hotel. They were brutally trafficked for 2 years before being freed.

The prosecutor continued, “we are in the midst of another trafficking situation. It’s a sting operation; and we need you to get involved, if you would be willing.” Our team member immediately pledged his participation.

The following morning, our team member headed to the local shopping mall food court and sat close to the trafficker and his latest victim. She was an attractive 20-something. He was a good bit older. Our team member listened in on the conversation.

A white van speeds along a road at night.
5 Survivors were rescued from a van like this one.

“Just text your family right now and tell them you are leaving for France with your boyfriend to start a new life. Let’s go, right now!” the trafficker said with a wink and a smile. His victim appeared a bit nervous, but she began to send the text.

A few moments later they stood up and began walking to the parking garage. Our undercover team member sent a text to the authorities, who were waiting outside near the traffickers’ van. “They are headed your way,” he typed.

As the trafficker and his victim walked out the door, the authorities intercepted them. She was taken to safety and he was arrested. They found 4 more women’s passports in his pocket.

Next the authorities swarmed the van. When they opened the doors, they found 4 more young women seated in the van with a driver. They were about to be whisked away to their “new lives,” thinking they were about to be employed in Western Europe. The truth is they were about to be sold into slavery. Luckily, the horrors that awaited them were averted, thanks to our team member and the authorities. Now, these 5 women can receive the support they need to make sure that they never fall for a trafficker’s scheme again.

A man stands in a parking lot holding two fingers in a V shape.
Our European Director holds up a "V" for victory at court!

After the sting operation ended, our team member was back in court standing next to the 2 survivors who were facing down their trafficker. They won! Now they’re back to their bustling, restored lives as business women and mothers. They have young children and are desperate to be truly free of the horrors of their past. Say a prayer for them. It’s been a long journey, and we are hopeful that this court case was the last time they’ll ever have to look at a trafficker again.

In just a few short days, 7 lives were protected. 7 precious women. 7 stories of Freedom.


The door to freedom is swinging wide open. It’s swinging open because the good guys are getting organized, and we are outsmarting traffickers at their own game. Then we’re taking it a step further. We know rescue is just the beginning for a human trafficking survivor. If we really want her to stay free, she needs everything from legal support, trauma-informed therapy, family counseling for her children, education, and vocational skills.


Uncaged is making sure each survivor has everything a survivor needs and more. We are unlocking the cage, equipping each survivor for total transformation. You hold the key to making it possible.


You can unlock the cage for these women by supporting their First Steps. First Steps includes everything a survivor needs to be stabilized immediately after she’s freed, like medical care and legal counseling.


Click here to equip a survivor to take her First Steps to Freedom!


8 views0 comments

The darkness of Human Trafficking is vast and deep. Even a million points of light shining on their own cannot overcome it. We need to work in unison as one searing beacon. This is why I am overjoyed that Uncaged is in the process of building the Freedom Highway.

An abolitionist shares at our summit. Face concealed.

You may remember that earlier this year, we gathered 30 freedom fighters at the Sanctuary for our first Freedom Summit. Together, they created an anti-trafficking strategy for all of Europe. As it turns out, the individuals we gathered are in contact with a vast network of Romanians who live all across Europe. Word of the anti-trafficking strategy spread quickly across the continent, activating an alliance. That alliance is the Freedom Highway. On March 6th, over 300 individuals gathered in Western Europe. Each person pledged to support the Freedom Highway and the fight to end trafficking.


Right now, the Freedom Highway includes social workers, healthcare workers, professionals, churches, and even staff at restaurants and hotels. Our European Director is coordinating the Highway. We are ensuring each Freedom Fighter is equipped with 4 key abilities:

  1. Recognizing a trafficking survivor

  2. Aiding a trafficking survivor in escaping

  3. Connecting a trafficking survivor to a safe house

  4. Journeying with a trafficking survivor to make sure she remains safe and stable before coming to the Sanctuary.

This work is already bearing astounding fruit. Remember the 58 women tucked in safe houses across Europe? The Freedom Highway found many of them and connected them to us. Freedom Highway members are the ones making sure these survivors stay sane and stable until we can bring them to the Sanctuary. A thousand points of light are coming together. I see it in the Freedom Highway, which is growing stronger every day. I see it in your encouragement of this work. The darkness will not overcome.

We hold the keys to freedom!

5 views0 comments

“Of course I’m afraid, because there are people who are bad who can hurt you. But the reality is I’m not actually afraid, because I know people will help me. That’s how the Highway works -- we always have someone so that we can keep going. The survivors need us to do this work.”

Antonia shared this matter-of-factly with an Uncaged staff member one day. She was sitting in the restaurant where she worked in Western Europe. Her shift would start in about an hour.


“I’m taking a few courses right now to make sure I know how to recognize a person who is being trafficked. I know that I see them every day, even here in my job,” she said.

Antonia left Romania 16 years ago and settled in this affluent, Western European country. She worked as staff at a hostel, as a stylist, and many other professions before settling into working with an insurance company and at her current restaurant. Ever since she was young, she wanted to help people. A mutual friend introduced her to our European Director, who told her about the work of Uncaged. Growing up in Romania, she knew about Human Trafficking, but it wasn’t until she spoke with Beni Lup that she learned just how many Romanian survivors were in her home country. Antonia jumped in to help. She connected with a local safe house for survivors of sex trafficking.


“The staff were so relieved, because right then they had two women from Romania and Moldova, but they had very few staff or volunteers who spoke Romanian,” Antonia explained. In those early weeks, staff began to call her whenever one of these two women were having a difficult time. “When I first spoke to ‘Gabriela’ she was so happy to have someone who understood her. I mostly just listened as she talked about her life, about her kids who were back in Moldova. Just talking calmed her so much.”


As Antonia got more involved with the shelter and other Freedom Fighters, she realized that her vocational skills could serve survivors, too. “Many of the survivors have health issues but no paperwork. It can make it really difficult for them to get regular care. I started to work with the shelter to get a few of these women medical insurance so that they could get regular healthcare.”


She has worked to get several survivors insurance, but she wants to do more. In particular, she dreams of using her skills as a stylist to make survivors feel beautiful again. Antonia notes that survivors’ bodies are so mistreated and damaged, it can be hard for them to have confidence in their bodies once they’re free. She wants to make them feel alive, like valuable, gorgeous women again. It all stems from her faith and her deep compassion.


“These are my compatriots,” she said, “They are from my homeland. I want to help them get out of trauma because I know what it feels like to suffer. That’s what motivates me. I want to help them live again.”


The Freedom Highway is activating hundreds of dedicated, courageous people like Antonia. We know that with allies like her and support from people like you, we can end trafficking once and for all!


72 views0 comments