DID YOU KNOW?
EVERY NIGHT AN ESTIMATED 400 GIRLS ARE SEXUALLY TRAFFICKED ON DALLAS STREETS
TEXAS RANKS 2ND IN THE NATION FOR THE NUMBER OF CALLS TO THE NATIONAL HUMAN TRAFFICKING HOTLINE
$99 MILLION IS SPENT EACH YEAR ON SEX TRADE IN NORTH TEXAS
THIS LAST FACT MAKES ME MAD AND TRULY SICK!
THE SEXUAL INDUSTRY (PORNOGRAPHY, PROSTITUTION, SEX TRAFFICKING, ECT.) IS A
$97 BILLION INDUSTRY WORLDWIDE – LARGER THAN GOOGLE, YAHOO, AMAZON, EBAY, MICROSCOFT, APPLE, & NETFLEX COMBINED (STATICS FROM FAMILY SAFE MEDIA)
Many of us, including myself, exist in our modern 21st century bubble thinking sexual exploitation and human trafficking happens in other cities or countries, not in our own.
One organization, New Friends New Life, is standing up for teens, women, and their children by helping them overcome backgrounds of abuse, addiction, and poverty caused by the sex industry.
HOW NEW FRIENDS NEW LIFE BEGAN
In 1998, a group of women from Preston Road Church of Christ joined together to help one woman, Amy, break out of the exotic dancing industry. This women’s bible study group offered financial assistance and other services to Amy and other women wanting to leave the sex trafficking industry. As more women came forward seeking help, the program developed into an organization known as Amy’s Friends. From humble beginnings, this grassroots organization grew and, by 2007, became known as New Friends New Life.
New Friends New Life is a faith-based nonprofit organization that restores and empowers formerly trafficked teen girls and sexually exploited women and their children by providing access to education, job training, interim financial assistance, mental health services and spiritual support. New Friends New Life helps women and their children overcome backgrounds of abuse, addiction, poverty and limited opportunities.
New Friends New Life partners with a number of businesses and organizations to help the women they serve take control of their lives and have a brighter outlook on their future. In 2014, they served more than 1,200 teens, women and their children and have an 83% retention rate. Services and resource programs they provide include
· Counseling and support groups
· Children’s academic programs and mentoring
· Financial assistance and budget coaching
· Life skills and parenting training
· Education and Second Chance Jobs programs
· Spiritual support
· Housing if needed
The programs at New Friends New Life assist the women in developing a life plan and give them opportunities to make choices, which many have not experienced in the past. These programs help the women analyze their gifts, skills, and passions while teaching them about a God that loves them. The women who participate in these programs do so completely voluntarily.
The organization has developed to the point that it now provides a sexual abuse recovery program at the Dallas County Juvenile Detention Center and the Letot Girls’ Residential Treatment Center.
Each year, more than 9,700 youth ages 10 to 17 come in contact with Dallas County Law Enforcement. The average age at which an American girl enters the sex trade is 13 years old. 96% of trafficked teens have been physically abused, 93% sexually abused, 87% abandoned, 80% run away from troubled homes. Within 48 hours of being on the street, sex traffickers often approach a runaway teen. There are an estimated 400 trafficked teens on the street each night in Dallas. Through this partnership, New Friends New Life strives to break the cycle and restore and empower these young victims, encouraging them to develop life plans and make positive choices.
KATIE PEDIGO - DIRECTOR
Katie Pedigo, Executive Director, leads a staff of 20 dedicated women and men, who wage battle against the sex industry in North Texas. Katie is a preacher’s daughter who has always had a passion for human rights and helping others. With a law degree from SMU, she began her career in the home care industry in human resources and then moved to the nonprofit sector. Five years ago, a friend asked Katie for potential candidates to fill the Executive Director position at New Friends New Life. Katie’s husband told her she would be the perfect candidate. With much prayer, doors started to open and Katie knew this was her calling. She explained how every day is a blessing, as she watches God transform the lives of so many women and teens. The women who complete the long transformation from being trafficked and imprisoned to having a livable wage job amaze her. Katie witnesses hope, security, and freedom return to their eyes. These life-changing events not only impact the women’s lives, but their families and communities as well.
WHAT CAN WE DO?
Help raise awareness. Help by financially supporting the holistic, transformational work of New Friends New Life. Help advocate to our legislators, city leaders, and law enforcement by letting them know human trafficking is a problem we care about and will not tolerate. Volunteer time and professional resources to help a teen girl or exploited woman and her children overcome the barriers to success. If you would like to volunteer, please click here.
Fight for legislation to change in Texas for teenagers, arrested for sex crimes, will be placed in resource advocacy centers, instead of jail, and CPS will get involved while the teen is in custody. This will help teens receive the counseling, they so desperately need and help put an end to this vicious cycle.
The 16th Annual Home Tour benefiting New Friends New Life
Sunday, November 22, 2015 2:00pm to 5:00pm
Ticket holders and sponsors will have the pleasure of viewing four featured homes in the prestigious Park Cities neighborhoods. Sponsorship is available now, click here. Tickets go on sale in October.