What We Do
Trafficking, commercial sexual exploitation of children, safe house, healing, education, prevention, mentoring, engagement, awareness,
Freeing Children from Sexual Exploitation
What vulnerable children believe...
“You are alone.” “No one cares.” “No one will help you.”
Children are being sexually exploited in our midst. Their bodies and their lives are taken to benefit the adults who are supposed to care for them. The message that there is no one who will help tells the child that she lives in complete isolation—there is no larger community, no safety, and no hope. A child growing up in such a world learns to distrust everyone. And the best she can hope for is to survive…
…unless somebody shows her there is another way, another world; a community where she can find love, compassion, and healing– the world God intended, where His love is greater than the fear she has known.
Reclaim13 was created so that we could change this message. We want to show vulnerable children that they are NOT alone, that people DO care, and people WILL help! All children deserve to feel safe and loved.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimates that there may be over 100,000 children in the United States who are trafficked. Studies have show that 13 is the average age children are first induced into trafficking, and for the children we have served, almost all were abused or exploited well before this vulnerable age. Most trafficked children were runaways, leaving difficult home lives. But, instead of finding safety, they find abuse and exploitation.
Reclaim13 reaches into the lives of children most vulnerable to abuse and exploitation through our prevention program in schools, by bringing awareness to the issue so individuals and communities can rally around these vulnerable children, and through our efforts to bring healing, though mentorship and shelter.
For children to leave trafficking, they need a home with healing designed to meet their special needs. Lack of adequate, specialized housing is the greatest problem in ending trafficking. In the US there are just under 400 beds nationwide and in Illinois there are less than 10 beds designated for minor victims of sex trafficking.
In 2016 Reclaim13 opened Cherish House: Our Home for Trafficked Girls
Cherish House is a home for girls between the ages of 10-17 recovered from sex trafficking. Cherish House is the only specialized care facility in the state of Illinois for children. At Cherish House children can heal, play, complete their education, and reclaim the path of freedom and hope.