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Trafficking Survivors Trade Slavery for Hope


two women hugging

July 7, 2017

An epidemic creeps through our neighborhoods; stealing the bodies, minds and souls of children who are forced into unthinkable circumstances and trapped by the bonds of sex trafficking.

Recruitment into sex trafficking is happening...anywhere teens are found. The majority of victims are coerced or manipulated into this modern-day slavery as early as 10-12 years old, often with a history of abuse that begins much earlier. And by the time they find help, many of these children have grown into young adults who are physically ravaged, spiritually manipulated and emotionally decimated.

Fortunately, there is a small but growing group of warriors known as GenerateHope battling for the hearts and lives of these survivors.

GenerateHope is an ECCU member organization taking on this pervasive problem, one young woman at a time—offering a chance for sex trafficking survivors to actually thrive. This San Diego-based, faith-driven organization provides a long-term, comprehensive, housing and recovery program to young women who have survived being sexually trafficked, so that they can reintegrate into society and walk powerfully into their future.


The Startling Statistics  

(data provided by the National Human Trafficking Hotline)

Statistics: 35% - One year increase in U.S. human trafficking 2015-2016.  7,572 U.S. victims identified calling for help in 2016.  83% U.S. citizens victimized in confirmed U.S. sex trafficking cases. 1 in 3 of a teen being introduced to prostitution within 48 hours of running away from home.  $810m amount generated in the San Diego underground economy between 1) Drugs, 2) Sex Trafficking 3) Firearms.  10,000 Total estimated trafficking victims each year in San Diego alone.




Tricks of the Trade 

Dan DeSaegher, GenerateHope Executive Director said, “It’s sobering how recruitment into sex trafficking is happening in our middle schools, high schools, public transportation, malls, parks, group homes, anywhere teens are found.”

He explained part of problem is that survivors arrive unaware of the reality of their situation. “Many have never even heard the term ‘sex trafficking’ and have no idea that their ‘boyfriend’ was actually going to sell them. They certainly did not think they had any other options for survival, coping, or independence, and living a safe and free life seemed like an impossible dream.”

Survivors are often not rescued until they are in their late teens or early twenties, typically after an arrest or escaping from their captors. “The level of physical and psychological abuse these women have suffered is off the charts,” DeSaegher said.

“Heal me O lord and I shall be healed, save me and I shall be saved.”  Jer. 17:14 


Home Safe Home

But, once they are rescued, GenerateHope provides a safe place for survivors to be restored through long-term housing, healing, psychotherapy and education. Since recovery from sexual exploitation is a long-term process, GenerateHope provides individualized trauma support within a safe home environment, empowering each young woman to discover her value and reclaim her independence, becoming an inspiring example of restoration for herself, the community and future generations.

Read survivors’ personal stories of Hope.


The GenerateHope Solution

THOUSANDS Number of people educated about sex trafficking
90 Survivors who have discovered a life of freedom since 2008
75% Participants who successfully abandon the sex trade
Significant decreases in women's symptoms of PTSD and depression
Dramatic increases in women's self-esteem, independence, education, sobriety, family connectivity, community involvement, spiritual developmen

Currently, GenerateHope operates a small campus of buildings in San Diego including a safehouse, transitional house, classrooms, and office area. The 18-month recovery program houses 6 women at a time with individualized case plans, ultimately serving about 12 women per year.

ECCU was proud to partner with GenerateHope to help make a difference in the lives of these courageous survivors. Thanks to you, new ECCU memberships and accounts opened in July translated into a donation of 100 HopeChests of personal items, the first gift to young women recovering from the trauma of sex trafficking in America.

Category: Missionary Minded