Restore One

Combating human trafficking and human exploitation by means of public awareness, practical prevention, restorative care and building domestic and international partnerships.


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Release: Stand For One gala to raise funds for nations first shelter for trafficked boys

GREENVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA—Over 500 local and national abolitionists will gather for the “Stand for One Gala” on Sep. 26 to raise $70,000 for the first shelter for trafficked males in the U.S. that will be spearheaded by local nonprofit, Restore One.
“The Stand for One gala is our biggest fundraiser of the year. Every dollar donated is a step closer to our goal to open doors to sex trafficked boys through The Anchor House,” said PR Director Persida Montanez.
The gala will begin at 7 p.m. and will be located at the Rock Spring Center in Greenville. It is the second gala that Restore One hosts. The first, which was held on Oct. 2014, was attended by over 400 guests. The gala will include dinner, live music, guest speakers and a silent auction.
Michael Cusick, they keynote speaker, is the Founder and President of Restoring the Soul Ministries, who serves as an adjunct professor at Denver Seminary and is the author of Surfing for God. Cusick’s personal testimony and heart for healing from sexual baggage and brokenness parallels with Restore One’s mission to restore sex trafficked boys and men.
Rebecca Bender, a former sex trafficking victim and founder of Rebecca Bender Ministries, will be the master of ceremonies. Bender is also an award winning, internationally recognized speaker, author and survivor leader in the movement to eradicate modern day slavery.
“Attendees and donors are as much a part of The Anchor House as the staff and the foundation upon which The Anchor House will be built. Those that will be in attendance are Restore One,” said Montanez.
Tickets are on-sale online.
For more information about the event visit the Restore One website: restoreonelife.org
Watch a video recap of last year’s gala.

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Seeking Public Relations Director for 2015

CONFERENCERestore One is seeking a PR Director who would begin January 2015. Restore One is a Greenville, faith-based nonprofit and will open the nation’s first shelter for male sex trafficking victims. It is a volunteer position. An application must be filled out in order to be considered.

Ideally, the candidate will commit to at least a year with the organization. Those from journalism/PR backgrounds with previous communication-related internships or work experiences are encouraged to apply.The PR Director will head up the use of WordPress, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and Hoostsuite. Being able to engage in media relations and create social media plans is also a part of the job description.Video production experience is a plus.

Contact Persida Montanez, press@restoreonelife.org for more information about the position.To apply fill out the form on Restore One’s website: http://restoreonelife.org/~restoreo/internship.php


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Q&A with intern Sha Smith

Photo on 12-25-12 at 5.14 PM

How did you get involved with RO?

I have always enjoyed using my free time to give back to the community. When I moved to Greenville, as a missionary for a ministry called Dirty Vagabond Ministries, I knew that I wanted to find a way to help other organizations in town that were trying to make a difference. Restore One was one of the very first ministries I heard of when I got here. I was talking with a good friend of mine, and he explained to me that not only was Restore One a ministry that focused on human trafficking, but that their focus was on helping young boys are victims of DMST. As soon as he said that they helped male victims of sexual exploitation, I knew immediately that I had to do whatever I could to support them. I have a passion for helping people who have been sexual exploited, especially men. I did my senior thesis on Male Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse, because I feel like they are often ignored or diminished when it comes to this kind of victimization.  It’s not often that you meet people who have a passion for that, so I knew that I had to get involved.

What got you involved in the fight against trafficking?

When I was working as an intern at the Sexual Assault Help Center in Steubenville, OH, my boss would speak with me about the larger issues that would come up at conferences she attended. One day, I saw her hanging up a poster she had received at a conference that had information about human trafficking on it. When I asked her about the poster, she told me that, at that time, Ohio was ranked as one of the top 5 states where human trafficking was a major issue,. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I knew human trafficking existed overseas, but I had no idea that such a horrific crime was rampant in the US, let alone in the state that I lived in.  At that moment, the reality of Domestic Human trafficking became real to me, and from then on I joined the fight to help end human trafficking.

 What is your background?

I am from a small coastal town in Mississippi named Gulfport.  My passions include, but are not limited to, painting, knitting and crocheting, psychological research, my faith, watching interesting independent films and documentaries, well-made food, ministry, learning about everything that interests me, theatre, the sky, beautiful flowers, and volunteering. I attended a small Catholic university in Steubenville, OH called Franciscan University of Steubenville.  While I was there I earned a Bachelors of Psychology (with honors) and Master’s of Arts in Counseling. I have been trained in acting and counseling. I would say that some of my skills are of an administrative nature (emailing, making spreadsheets, etc), I’m also good at public speaking, working with large groups, listening, problem solving, being understanding, being supportive, and cracking many hilarious jokes.

What will you be doing with RO this Summer?

I will be at RO as intern this summer, and I will be helping them with the Stand for One gala. I will also be helping them to develop a survey.

Have any goals?

I would say that my main goal is just to help them to accomplish what they need to as a ministry. I’m cool to help with whatever I can help with. I would say that my secondary goal would be to complete the survey!

What are you most excited about?

I am most excited about getting to know the staff at Restore One, and doing whatever ever I can to help combat human trafficking J

Fun  Facts

I have studied abroad in Europe, Austria to be exact.  I have never eaten a Twinkie…I don’t trust them. I can do splits well.  I love to dance. One of my best friends is related to William Wallace. When I was younger, I owned a pair of earrings made from some of the ash of Mt. Saint Helen’s.

 


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What about the boys?

By Nelli Agbulos, guest blogger.

(Photo caption: Photo courtesy of Buzzfeed, from Grace Brown’s Project Unbreakable)

(Photo caption: Photo courtesy of Buzzfeed, from Grace Brown’s Project Unbreakable)

While the above photo does not pertain to male trafficking, the reaction a male trafficking victim would get would be the same if someone knew a man had been raped. Males are typically perceived to be the “bad guy” “predator” “pimp” and “perpetrator” in the crime-scene world, and they are rarely recognized as victims. This has much to do with the gender construction in society.

According to the Polaris Project, the average age of entry into prostitution for boys is 11 to 13 years old. That age range has them considered as children, and about 50% of child sex trafficking victims are boys. They go from a path of poverty to prostitution to human trafficking. Lack of publicity and advocacy makes male sex trafficking attractive to criminal networks, to fill the demand and pages of pornography magazines.

Male victims of human trafficking are typically runaways or those who were thrown out of their homes. Many experience high rates of physical, sexual, and psychological abuse from family members, and that makes boys more vulnerable and susceptible to drugs and alcohol. In turn, drugs and alcohol becomes those boys’ coping mechanisms, which incidentally become one of the reasons they get sexually exploited so that they can fund their alcohol and drug supply. Seeking love is another reason runaway/homeless boys turn to sexual exploitation, to fill the longing and care not mutually given in previous experiences. Boys are often recruited by friends and peers, though some are known to have pimps (who keep most of their earnings).

Boys are not considered a “high risk group” to be included in research, outreach, and rehabilitation services for human trafficking. Male trafficking victims only get attention if the news breaks out as a local or national scandal – and again, this rarely happens. There is gender construction in being a victim, and that is attributed to the ideals of masculinity held by the general public. Since boys aren’t perceived to be victims, they aren’t encouraged to speak out when something happens; they are shunned because of the belief they are “stronger”, more self-efficient, and are capable of taking better care of themselves. These qualities of masculinity have become normalized to the point that they pressure men with unrealistic expectations. Men become afraid to speak up because of the shame and embarrassment associated with what happened to them. Even law enforcement officials have been known to doubt male victims. An ECPAT study revealed that boys are reluctant to declare themselves as victims or report incidents of exploitation to avoid the potential stigma associated with being viewed as gay. Undeniably, men are put under the cloak of invisibility regarding topics on male sexual exploitation (such as male rape, domestic violence, and human trafficking) that has them as victims.

I’m not saying female human trafficking should be held in any less regard to male trafficking. There is still so much to be done to combat female trafficking and its equally nuanced layers. However, an alarming statistic produced by the United States State Department reports that between 2006 and 2008, the percentage of adult trafficking male victims jumped from 6% to 45%. If that 39% increase isn’t a cause for concern, then maybe this issue is being blown out of proportion. Human trafficking is as an issue that happens to both genders. Men are just as affected by human trafficking and require the same attention as females.


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5 Ways to Turn Interest into Action in the Fight Against Sex Trafficking

Introducing guest blogger and abolitionist, Rebecca Potzner. Visit her website here and follow her on Twitter. 

Over the years, awareness for sex trafficking has increased and still continues to along with our interest to help. While it’s important for us to be aware of the issues that surround us, it is even more important to act on them.  To turn our interest into action, here are five ways to join the fight against sex trafficking.

1. Educate yourself          

To make a difference, it’s important to truly understand what we’re up against.  You can start by researching online through sites such as the Polaris Project, the U.S. Department of State, and of course blogs like Restore One. There are also many documentaries that cover the issue, as well.

2. Take to Social Media

We’re always busy posting and sharing content on our social media accounts. So, why not share content that brings light to the issue? While you’re researching, share an article, photo, or video that caught your attention. There are even petitions you can ask your friends and followers to sign. It’s a simple action to slip into your everyday routine.

3. Write to your local and state government representatives

Different areas have laws and programs that can be changed to help eliminate sex trafficking in the states. Send a letter to your local and state representatives asking how they’re working towards a solution.  Taking it a step further, make it personal and express your interest for change

4. Spend a little money

There are many organizations working to help victims and end sex trafficking that you can donate. Organizations such as Transitions Global, give people the opportunity to sponsor survivors. By sponsoring, you are personally impacting a life. In Transition Global’s case, the money you donate goes towards a girl’s care and education.

5. Join an organization

 Join forces with others by getting involved with an organization. Whether it’s student run or nationally led, they can lead you towards countless options to stay engaged in the fight including awareness events, fundraisers, and even engagement trips.


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Sharing the Hope: It happens to boys too

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CONFERENCE

Shared Hope International hosts an annual conference to address issues pertaining to human trafficking. This year,  Restore One directors spoke about the victimization of males as victims of trafficking in all its forms. ECPAT-USA reported earlier this year that male minors possible make up to 50% percent of the total of instances of  sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation   Director Anna Smith led a discussion with  trafficking survivor Mark Taylor titled  It Happens to Boys Too.