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 are over 100,000 children in the United States who are trafficked. 13 is the average age children are first induced into trafficking. 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 15 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 10-21 recovered from sex trafficking. At Cherish House children can heal, play, complete their education, and reclaim the path of freedom and hope.
Reclaim13 also focuses on community awareness and engagement. We are committed to the mission to #Take13Back, and end the cycle of sexual exploitation.
If you'd like to play a part in this fight, check out ways to Get Involved, or Contact us for more information.
Reclaim 13 event seeks to end child abuse, exploitation
Cassandra Ma, executive director of Reclaim 13, visited ABC7 to talk about the organization's annual gala that benefits its mission of ending child abuse and exploitation.
Over the last two years, Reclaim 13 has successfully operated Cherish House, a long-term, residential treatment facility devoted to ending the cycle of abuse and exploitation of children recovered from the sex trafficking industry.
"13" is the average age of entry into the commercial sex trafficking industry. Reclaim13's goal is to "Reclaim" a child's right to grow up feeling safe, loved, and free from harm.
About 293,000 American youth are at risk of becoming victims and the Chicago is a top location of "High-Intensity Child Prostitution," according to the FBI.
The average age of an exploited child is 13 years old and victims are most of the girls were sexually abused before they were recruited into sex trafficking.
The gala will be held 6 p.m. at the Hilton Chicago Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center in the lobby of the Grand Ballroom located just inside the Conference Center entrance of the hotel.
Tickets to the black-tie optional event are $175/person and must be purchased in advance.
ABC7 anchor Judy Hsu will be the event's emcee.
To purchase tickets, visit: http://www.reclaim13.org/gala-2017