Prevention vs. Aftercare
In a video interview conducted by Gregory Russinger, of One Voice to End Slavery, James Pond makes the case that while there are many laws against sex trafficking, there has been very little publicity about the need for aftercare services for victims. A great deal of publicity seems to focus on rescues, especially of young children, yet an infrastructure needs to but put in place to ensure a healthy, supported transition back into society.
Pond identifies a great need for entrepreneurial thinkers to help devise ways for survivors to become financially independent and to support themselves going forward.
Pond and his wife Athena founded the anti-trafficking organization, Transitions Global. They co-established the Agape Restoration Center, a high-security, long-term aftercare facility in Phnom Penh, Cambodia for Cambodian and Vietnamese victims of sex trafficking between the ages of 8-18. Some excerpts from the above interview:
- What we're seeing on a global scale is that there is just a tremendous need for victim services.
- We really need professionals in this field. We need people with some expertise in trauma counseling, social work, working with at-risk youth, in terms of creating some intervention strategies. We need folks out there that are entrepreneurial thinkers to create ways for victims to actually rebuild their lives once they've gone through this kind of experience.
The entrepreneurial thinkers that James Pond refers to are people who can train survivors for sustainable jobs, who can provide initial employment, and who can train survivors in how to start and run their own businesses. This is one of the biggest challenges facing abolitionists today, and it constitutes the core mission of Nomi Network.
- Stephen Bauer
image courtesy of cambodianangkortour.com