GUATEMALA CITY – Delmi Ramírez addresses the women sitting at the table around her: "Every woman here is a brave woman." The 20 women gathered around the table – many still in their work clothes – watch her carefully. Some look down, not used to hearing this kind of encouragement. Delmi, IJM Guatemala's Director of Aftercare, leads this meeting once a month for mothers of children who have been sexually abused.
MUMBAI, INDIA – Christmas came early to girls living at a Mumbai aftercare home for sex trafficking survivors. Many of the girls rescued in IJM-assisted operations live in this home, where they can resume their studies or learn skills like sewing or baking. IJM social workers and the staff at the home provide critical care and counseling, so that someday these young women will lead healthy, independent lives.
KOLKATA, INDIA – The crowd stirred in their seats, eager for the dance performance to begin. A police officer from the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), a major police force in West Bengal, India, stood to address the room. While a law enforcement officer seems an unusual emcee, this show was an exceptional one: The 19 dancers about to perform were all sex trafficking survivors.
CEBU, THE PHILIPPINES – A group of young women laugh and chat with one another as they pull plastic chairs into a circle. They are excited and at ease with one another. They've been meeting together like this for the past six months – it's a support group for trafficking survivors.
The Reintegration Support Network (RSN) is an innovative partnership between IJM Cebu and the local government, providing medical and psychosocial support to trafficking survivors who have moved out of aftercare shelters and back into their home communities.