Welcome to the Shared Hope Institute for Justice & Advocacy
Thanks to the incredible support of friends like you, our new “mission control” center, the Shared Hope Institute for Justice & Advocacy in Washington, D.C., opened its doors January 23, 2020. Our goal is to amplify our collective voice in the nation’s capital to end sex trafficking.
Even now in the midst of global disruption, the work of the Institute is digging deeper and working more aggressively in the fight for justice on behalf of victims of child sex trafficking.
Offering education, research, and training for advocates and stakeholders — including law enforcement, social workers, lawyers, first responders, doctors, legislators, and judges — the Institute is consolidating our work to eliminate bias against victims in the ways laws are written and applied. In this space, advocates from all corners of the country will come together to dig deeper, tackle current and emerging challenges, and influence federal and state legislation to better protect vulnerable adults and children. For now, we’re connecting with advocates virtually to ensure this vital work continues unabated.
Just this month, Washington State joined the other 30 states and D.C. that have enacted laws that protect victims from being arrested or prosecuted for the crime committed against them. Washington advocates and survivors have been tirelessly working over the last three years to pass non-criminalization legislation and, since 2018, the respective bills have failed to pass.
Recognizing new and necessary priorities — and the possible impact these would have on the Governor’s ability to sign the bill into law — advocates, including many of you, collaborated with our Institute’s Advocacy Action Center and flooded his inbox and phone lines with pleas that commercially sexually exploited youth remain a priority during this time of crisis — and he listened! Governor Inslee passed HB 1775 into law, ensuring that even in one of our country’s most challenging times, youth survivors will have access to funded care and specialized services.
Shared Hope will not stop until the remaining 19 states in the nation stop arresting and charging youth survivors of sex trafficking with the crime of prostitution. Our Stop the Injustice Campaign is dedicated to fighting this injustice: there is no such thing as a child prostitute!
We created a petition that will allow you to show your support for changing these laws. When you sign it, you will be counted as a part of the national groundswell of voices. We will share this growing number of signatures as we advocate around the nation for laws to strengthen protections for victims.
We can’t do this alone — your support makes all the difference!
Thank you for helping us see the work of the Institute continue during these uncertain times. And thank you for helping Shared Hope take the biggest step ever in our 21-year history!
One more way you are making a difference for survivors
Simple, but powerful. It’s the way your love is changing lives and bringing restoration to those who have survived and are thriving and overcoming the darkness of sex trafficking.
It’s what you did for one of the youngest survivors receiving care and services through our partner program. After almost a year in intensive therapeutic services, she was ready to transition from treatment and reintegrate back into her community and home with her family.
Friends like you made it possible for her to receive the support she needed. And with some much-needed financial assistance, the family was able to redecorate the young girl’s bedroom with her favorite thing: unicorns! It was so special for her to be able to return home to her own room — after having the opportunity to have a say in how it was decorated … an environment that made her feel safe and comfortable.
Her family is so grateful to have her home along with the extra support they needed to make her transition as smooth as possible.
Thank you for being part of every child and adult’s journey of hope and healing through your faithful support of Shared Hope’s work!
You already know that survivors and those at risk of sex trafficking are an especially vulnerable population that already and disproportionately experience underemployment, reduced access to quality physical and mental healthcare, housing insecurity, and limited educational opportunities.
The barriers caused by trafficking victimization only intensify during a time of crisis, including the global one we are currently experiencing. Right now, vulnerable youth are even more at risk of losing access to critical housing, employment, education, and high-quality psychosocial, emotional, physical, and person-centered care.
Specialized services are vital for addressing the harm and trauma experienced by sex trafficked youth. Services not only respond to the abuse and harm they’ve experienced with comprehensive care and support but can reduce vulnerabilities and mitigate the risk of future exploitation. It is the latter impact that makes the provision of holistic services and care especially important as our country responds to the COVID-19 crisis.
It is imperative that our legislators keep sex trafficking survivors at the forefront of emergency budget and policy decisions. As legislative bodies across the U.S. gather to pass emergency funding and protection bills for vulnerable communities, we invite you to join us in calling on lawmakers to provide and fund specialized services for youth survivors!
TAKE ACTION: With a few simple clicks using our Advocacy Action Center, you can join us today in supporting the campaign to urge your legislators to include survivors in their emergency budgets.
When you take action, you’ll also receive future updates on the progress of this campaign and updates on additional opportunities to make a difference during the legislative process. Thank you for raising your voice for the voiceless!
Even in difficult days, the important work of Shared Hope continues.
Your generous tax-deductible contribution will empower Shared Hope to continue our vital work together — to bring justice to victims, end demand, and hold offenders accountable … until all children are protected.
Whatever you can give, big or small, thank you for being as generous as possible!