Sex-Trafficking

The Catholic Charities DIGNITY Diversion program is an intensive education-based program for women who have been arrested for prostitution. The program provides the opportunity to avoid jail time and to divert women from reoffending.

Friday, 01 March 2024

Human Trafficking Survivor Uses Her Experience to Advocate for Others

Shanna Parker is more than just a survivor of human trafficking. She is an advocate, leader and powerful force fighting against a despicable crime that often goes unnoticed and unreported. Human trafficking involves the use of force, fraud or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act.

At the age of only 13, Shanna left home due to abuse in the household. Unfortunately, she quickly found herself in the hands of a trafficker. Like many human trafficking victims, Shanna was in a vulnerable state when she was targeted.

Shanna lived in the dark shadow of human trafficking for most of her teenage years. Now, she uses her story of survival to educate and encourage others to utilize resources to prevent this practice.

Sharing Her Story with DIGNITY Diversion

For years, Shanna has been speaking to DIGNITY Diversion’s women's support groups. The DIGNITY (Developing Individual Growth and New Independence Through Yourself) Diversion program helps women who have been arrested for prostitution avoid re-offending and jail time by providing education, rehabilitation services and more.

It’s important for women in the program to hear from people like Shanna who understand the mindset of a trafficking victim. Many women involved in prostitution are not even aware they are being trafficked.

The level of manipulation and abuse victims face may lead them to believe that they are to blame for their situation. In some cases, traffickers may be a relative or romantic partner, making it even more difficult for victims to realize what is happening to them.

Shedding Light on the Dark World of Human Trafficking

Shanna is also part of a team of educators who help educate buyers of sex on the dangerous and often violent side of trafficking. She uses her experience and the experiences of the victims she works with to put a face to the issue.

In addition to providing education to women who have been arrested for prostitution, Catholic Charities DIGNITY Diversion also offers other resources. Access to items like toiletries and clothing makes it easier for our clients to focus on getting on the right path. If you’d like to help, you can donate needed items through our Amazon Wish List.

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