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Luminita was supposed to be an entrepreneur. She was studying hard in her second year of University to get her Business and Management degree. But the man she thought was her boyfriend turned out to be her trafficker. After 14 months in slavery, she escaped. Soon after, we brought her back to Romania to start healing in our program.


That was just 1 year ago. Today, Luminita is back on track to becoming the businesswoman she dreamed of being. This summer, she participated in our “Sew Good” initiative. She teamed up with other survivors who learned how to sew and created full-fledged business plans. They even explored fundamentals like supply chains and marketing!


Most of the 62 survivors who were in our program this year are just like Luminita. They are smart, driven, and kind women who were betrayed by someone who was supposed to love them.


There are thousands more survivors just like Luminita waiting to go to a place like The Sanctuary. Just two weeks ago, I received word of 58 Romanian survivors waiting in safe houses across Europe.


Let’s pave the way for hundreds of survivors like Luminita to heal and thrive.

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Updated: Nov 23, 2020

In this fight against human-trafficking, we have to combat this evil from all sides. We know that we have to be on the lookout for trafficking situations all the time. Awareness is so important. We saw this power first-hand after reporting a trafficking situation in Eastern Europe. Our report put authorities on the trail of a major trafficking ring. Within a few months, 24 traffickers were arrested. 

We have to know how trafficking operates in order to recognize a dangerous situation. Today, I want to tell you about the single-most common method for enslaving Romanian women. It’s called the “Loverboy Method.”  This pernicious scheme starts when a trafficker targets a young, low-income woman. He showers her with attention and affection. He asks her out. For a small while, he spares no expense to treat her like a queen. It’s all part of a plot to win her trust.  Once the trafficker and the victim are romantically involved, he will invite her on a getaway trip. Sometimes he will ask her to move away with him for “a better life.” Since the woman is usually in love at this point, she often goes with him happily.  When they’re out of the country, the trafficker strikes. Often, he will confiscate her passport and documents before taking her phone. He then passes this precious woman off to another trafficker. At this point, the woman has been enslaved until partners like ours across Europe can rescue her and bring her to a place like the first Sanctuary.  It’s terrifying to think of the scale of this deception. Every year, 250,000 people are trafficked into Europe alone. At least 77% of the survivors we encounter in Europe are from Romania. When we hear their stories, we hear about traffickers using the Loverboy Method over and over again.  We are fighting this evil. Already, we have formed strategic partnerships across Europe and locally near the first Sanctuary. We are part of a coalition of 60 anti-trafficking organizations. Together, we’re developing international strategies to stamp out the Loverboy Method.  Near the first Sanctuary, the local government has asked us to conduct prevention seminars. They will train local parents, educators, law enforcement, and students in how to recognize and avoid traffickers. It’s one more way that unlocking the first Sanctuary will secure freedom for hundreds, even thousands of survivors! Let’s keep fighting to end trafficking and unlock transformation for survivors. We hold the keys to freedom! Warmly, Kim Westfall

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Last week in the USA, we piloted our trauma-informed retreat for survivors. We partnered with two local agencies to bring 9 trafficking survivors for an intensive week of trauma therapy.


Seeing these survivors’ smiles and breakthroughs over the week was truly rapturous. It all started when we welcomed the survivors. They each received personalized journals, gift bags, and even gourmet cookies. Their reactions showed that many of the survivors had never been treated with such care. One simply stared and said, "I feel so loved."


During the retreat, they began to heal through animal-assisted therapy, art therapy, individual therapy. More than anything, it was beautiful to see survivors experience transformational love. We saw powerful breakthroughs and tears.


We are more convinced than ever that our program at the Sanctuary is going to transform hundreds, even thousands of lives in ways we can scarcely imagine. The land in Romania is nearly secured, we have already paid for 80% of the property. We are ready to welcome survivors as soon as Covid-related travel bans lift.


Even as we yearn to open the Sanctuary, we’re celebrating the transformation that is already happening across the globe! While we were running our retreat stateside, 15 survivors were graduating from our current program in Romania. This week, they are starting their new lives with jobs and community support. Join us in blessing this new chapter for them!


The door to freedom is swinging wide for survivors. Next, we will unlock the land to the first Sanctuary!


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ABOUT US >

Our focus is on the tremendous and complex task of rescuing and restoring shattered hearts, minds, and psyches.  Our goal is to become one of the world’s leading catalysts and resource hubs for the anti-trafficking movement.

Uncaged’s Communication Policy >

Uncaged adheres to a strict policy of never revealing the identity of a traffic survivor. To ensure that we never re-exploit a survivor, all images and names have been changed.

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CONTACT >

T: (404) 480-0449

PO Box 80163
Atlanta, GA 30366

E: info@uncaged.org

Paintings by Hyatt Moore