BIDDEFORD — Carey Nason, executive director of St. André Home, will host a free virtual event “Beauty Remains: The Truth on Trafficking” at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 27, to help attendees better understand human trafficking and exploitation , what is happening around us, how to identify victims and what we can do to prevent trafficking. Human Trafficking Reaches All-Time High and Found in Every State in the United States
“Hundreds of Maine girls and women, as young as 14, are trafficked for commercial purposes each year. Traffickers have been known to exploit vulnerabilities and target teenage runaways, or people who trying to improve their lives but just don’t have everything they need,” Carey said, according to a press release from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland. “By raising awareness of the crime of human trafficking, by erasing the stigma victims often face and reaching out to survivors of trafficking, we can help survivors move on with their lives, heal and rebuild their lives on their own terms.
St. André Home’s flagship program is CourageLIVES which provides support and services to those affected by human trafficking and exploitation. Based in the Biddeford area, but serving more than 125 women across Maine, CourageLIVES provides food, clothing, shelter and counseling to residents; a shelter for female survivors; and an awareness program. The program serves women and families in many Maine counties, including Penobscot, Cumberland, Aroostook, York, and Franklin.
“We all have a role to play in this. We can no longer pretend this is an overseas problem,” Carey said. “We cannot pretend that our children are not affected in one way or another by this atrocity. It’s time to get serious about trafficking and seize the opportunity to do our part.
“The Diocese is very grateful for programs like CourageLIVES and its mission to serve women who have been victims of commercial sexual exploitation and who need a safe place to heal and rebuild,” Bishop Robert said. Deeley. “The program also educates and helps victims and survivors of human trafficking find freedom, while waiting for the weapons to offer safety, an understanding of their intrinsic worth, and a path to healing.”
To register for the event, visit eventbrite.com.
For more information about the program or event, visit couragelivesme.org or call 207-282-3351.
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