Press Releases

Wellness Weekend for Male Human Trafficking Survivors

CONTACT: Christine Commerce, Communications Director, christine@sistersagainsttrafficking.org

Wellness Weekend for Male Human Trafficking Survivors

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE … FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Columbus, Ohio – Twelve men, ages 27 to 57, got the chance to heal from their past trauma and practice some self-care techniques in the first Wellness Weekend for Male Survivors of Human Trafficking Dec. 9-11.

Girls and women are often the targets of human trafficking. However, beneath the surface, men and boys often go unseen and are underserved when it comes to this crime.

USCSAHT Program Director Theresa Flores, Lived Experience Expert and Founder of The SOAP Project, said it is believed that males make up 20-30% of all victims of trafficking in the U.S.

“Once a survivor is no longer being trafficked, his trauma doesn’t end there,” Flores said. “It takes a lifetime of hard work to heal the scars and become thrivers. Many times, male survivors are left out of the trafficking narrative. While there are thousands of victims, there are very few resources to help them heal.”

Every year, thousands of boys and men fall victim to this abhorrent crime. Traffickers will prey on the vulnerabilities of victims such as homelessness and poverty. Estimates vary but boys made up 7% of child sex trafficking reported to the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children and 15% of online enticement cases involved boys. The percentage is even higher for labor trafficking with 556 males in labor trafficking reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline in 2020 compared to 682 for females.

Once male victims escape their situation, limited resources make the road to recovery even more difficult. U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking partnered with Sisters of Mercy, The SOAP Project and Felician Services, Inc. to bridge the gap and help them on their healing journey.

“Mother Mary was with us providing these vulnerable, yet strong men with the feminine, motherly love that they needed so much,” said Flores. “And Jesus was walking right beside them, providing the male protector essence they needed to restore what was taken from them by other men.”

USCSAHT brought together volunteers from around the country who poured into them and helped them heal from what others have so brutally taken from them. They learned the importance of healing touch by getting massages and facials, came together in harmony with a drum circle, music therapy, and guided meditation, and worked on their physical and mental health with yoga, and sessions on men’s, brain, financial, and chiropractic health. They worked on forgiveness, releasing shame, guilt, anger, and sadness. But most importantly, the retreat helped them create a support group and a sense of community.

The Wellness Weekend offered the retreat completely free to survivors of labor and sex trafficking. They were provided free plane tickets, luxury rooms, tasty and abundant food plus lots of goodies to take home.

“You are the sparkle to my wings,” said the youngest survivor who attended.

“I came not knowing a single person, not getting the therapy I have needed, and am leaving with brothers and the tools on how to heal myself,” said another.

To find out more information about survivor retreats, email theresa@sistersagainsttrafficking.org or visit sistersagainsttrafficking.org.

USCSAHT was founded in 2013 by a group of Catholic Sisters committed to ending human trafficking and supporting survivors. They dreamed of creating a national network of resources and support made up of many different congregations and other mission-aligned partners. Today, this member-based organization has grown to include more than 110 congregations of women religious and another 70+ individuals and groups spread throughout the United States. USCSAHT is also the U.S. member of Talitha Kum, an international network of consecrated life working to end human trafficking.

###

Download a PDF of this press release.

Press Release Archive

CONTACT: Christine Commerce, Communications Director, christine@sistersagainsttrafficking.org Wellness Weekend for Male Human Trafficking Survivors FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE … FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Columbus, Ohio – Twelve men, ages 27 to 57, got the chance to heal from their past trauma and practice some self-care techniques in the first Wellness Weekend for Male Survivors of Human Trafficking Dec. ... ...

Read More

DATE: Nov. 17, 2022 CONTACT: Christine Commerce, Communications Director, Christine@SistersAgainstTrafficking.org USCSAHT Encourages Students to Educate Youth on Human Trafficking in Video Contest United States — Students around the United States will have a chance to display their talent, earn cash prizes and educate other youth about human trafficking in a video contest, “What Would You ... ...

Read More

ST. LOUIS, MO – U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking hosted its Second Annual Human Trafficking Conference with nationally renowned speakers and survivor leaders, who shed light on many of the dark issues surrounding the exploitation of individuals Oct. 26-28 in St. Louis, MO. This year’s conference theme, “Weaving Community, Building Capacity, Affecting Change,” featured ... ...

Read More

Brighton, MI – The ECPAT-USA Awards were held recently in New York City to celebrate individuals who work to combat child trafficking. Theresa Flores, Program Director for the United States Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking, was recognized for her work in preventing sex trafficking and the exploitation of children. “It’s an honor to be recognized by ... ...

Read More

BRIGHTON, MI — U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking (USCSAHT) announces its new Communications Director, Christine Commerce. Commerce began her tenure with USCSAHT Sept. 12, 2022 and will be the first communications director for the organization. USCSAHT was founded in 2013 by a group of Catholic Sisters who were committed to ending human trafficking and ... ...

Read More

U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking (USCSAHT) is honored and grateful to receive a very generous legacy gift from Our Lady of Victory Missionary (OLVM) Sisters, also known as the Victory Noll Sisters. This legacy gift will sustain the ongoing work of USCSAHT and honor the long history of the OLVM Sisters work accompanying those ... ...

Read More

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE FEBRUARY 7, 2022 Jennifer Reyes Lay (Executive Director) U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking Jennifer@SistersAgainstTrafficking.org  |  314-707-7313   USCSAHT Launches Search for New Executive Director   ST. LOUIS: US Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking, a collaborative, faith-based national network that offers education, supports access to survivor services, and engages in advocacy to ... ...

Read More

ST. LOUIS: As people throughout the United States prepare to celebrate Independence Day this weekend, we are reminded of the many people in our own communities and throughout the world who are still not free due to the global crime of human trafficking. U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking (USCSAHT) is a collaborative, faith-based national ... ...

Read More

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Jennifer Reyes Lay (Executive Director) U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking Jennifer@SistersAgainstTrafficking.org  |  267-332-7768   Survivor-Advocate Theresa Flores Hired as USCSAHT Program Director ST. LOUIS: U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking (USCSAHT) is proud to announce that Theresa Flores will be joining their staff as the new Program Director for the organization, ... ...

Read More

  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 9.29.2020 Jennifer Reyes Lay U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking Jennifer@SistersAgainstTrafficking.org ‪(267) 332-7768   Catholics Call on Attorney General Barr to Protect Children from Online Trafficking Petition with Over 1200 Signatures Sent to the Department of Justice St. Louis, MO: U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking (USCSAHT), a national faith-based network ... ...

Read More