What is the sweet spot?
When you think of human trafficking most imagine dark dingy towers, a van with windows blacked out, people being taken against their will and women being forced into prostitution. Unfortunately there is not how it always starts out. Many people are lured into sexual slavery or labor slavery with the promise of a better future. They are lured with the promise of a steady income, a safe place to live and being taken care of. Traffickers lure their victims into slavery by preying on their vulnerabilities.
The Polaris Project explains that “U.S. Traffickers use violence, threats, deception, debt bondage, and other manipulative tactics to force people to engage in commercial sex or to provide labor or services against their will. While more research is needed on the scope of human trafficking.” Human Trafficking is extremely difficult to track because often time the target population has been fed so many lies they do not come forward or even worse they are moved around so many times they have a hard time finding help. Many traffickers will tell their captives that “the community does not care,” “you mean nothing to them” and “no one will believe you.”
The US Department of Justice estimates that 17,500 people are trafficked into the United States every year, however because it is so difficult to get accurate counts, they do believe the number to be much higher. Those trafficked are of all ages, gender and races and can be domestic citizens or foreign nationals. Many are taken with little to nothing and are certainly given minimum while in captivity. When a victim leaves a trafficker, they typically leave with the clothes on their back. As they search for assistance and support, they still have nothing. Agencies work hard to provide crisis support, assistance and long term housing, but money is tight and spread thin. At the Sweet Spot we want to help support these programs already providing exceptional services.
The essentials bags providing by The Sweet Spot will give each survivor something of their own. A bag full of items to help them clean up, look toward a brighter future and provide a sliver of hope that their community cares and believes in them. We believe that everyone is worthy of something new and of value, which is why we will only provide unused personal care items. Each bag signifies a new start.