How did you become involved in the movement against sex trafficking and sexual exploitation?
In 2008, I was watching a program about sex trafficking of children in Cambodia on MSNBC. When watching this program, they started talking about sex trafficking of children in the United States. The thought that this was happening here pierced my heart. I have two daughters and so the thought of girls being victimized in such a way deeply disturbed me. I spent an entire year attending conferences, contacting authorities and social agencies to determine what was being done and where the greatest need existed. After a year, my husband and I hired an attorney to set up a non-profit corporation and I created a board of directors. In November of 2009, The Covering House became incorporated and in August of 2010 we received our 501(c)(3) status.
What draws you to support people who are trafficked and sexually exploited?
My faith in God plays a large role in my desire to help these young girls. I have always been drawn to people who are hurting or marginalized by society.
What does your work involve?
As the founder and executive director of The Covering House, I oversee the program director, life-skills director and awareness director. We work closely as a team to create and provide the best services to these young girls. I spend a lot of my time raising awareness in the community along with raising funds.
What legal improvements or changes would help to abolish human trafficking and sexual exploitation?
As long as the demand is there, this problem will exist. I would like to see harsher penalties for the men who purchase these women and girls.
For anyone else who wants to be involved, what can other people do to help?
My suggestion is to find a place locally and find out how they can help. Non-profit agencies always need volunteers in so many areas.
What are your plans for the future?
Currently, we are providing out client services to girls but our next step will be to purchase a home and provide a safe place for them to live.
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