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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You are officially invited to our Stand For One gala!


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Q&A with intern Sha Smith

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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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Words from Genny. Summer intern.

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Guest post by intern Genevieve Parshely 

It is this kind of purposeful action in people in my generation that gives me courage and a hope that we will address and act on the things the Lord has placed on our hearts for our good and His glory. I am SO beyond excited to unofficially officially start my internship with Restore One! I am so thankful for how the Lord has brought me here and am already so inspired and grateful for the work my brothers and sisters have done through Christ as they work towards the goal of seeing sexual exploitation and trafficking eradicated!

I will admit, I am still nervous! Working for an organization like RO has been a dream of mine for quite some time now and I really don’t want to disappoint anyone. I am fearful that I won’t be good at or have the gifts for this thing that I profess to want to do with my entire life. What if I fail? What if I can’t think creatively enough, work hard enough, do enough, be…well, better?

And then I think, well, Genny, that’s not the kind of questions God created you to ask. In fact, I would wager He wants you to not ask any questions like that but to say with confidence that through Him all things are possible.

I am a daughter of a King! We are all children of a great kingdom. WHAT? I’M SORRY! To live in freedom is our birth right. To live without fear, abuse, slavery, hurt, or doubt is in our spiritual DNA. I have to believe this – I need to believe it. And the more I utter these truths to my self, I know that my soul with grow stronger and I can walk with more certainty and fearlessness will echo in every stride.

With this in mind, I will do everything I can, with all the gifts God has given me, to do His will on this earth and work towards a world no one has to fear for the safety of body, mind and soul – a world of complete freedom. My desire to pursue this isn’t because it’s a “cool thing to do.” It is not because it is a hot topic right now. This is NOT about me or any single person. I will run this race set before me because it is the Lord’s heart and because of that, it is mine too. Ours.

Will you join in the fight? Come on y’all – let’s do it.


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Second annual gala: date, presenters and speakers

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On Friday September 26th, 2014 at Rock Springs Center in Greenville, North Carolina, Restore One will be hosting our second annual benefit Gala titled, “Stand for One.”  Cusick, Founder and President of Restoring the Soul Ministries, who serves as an adjunct professor at Denver Seminary and author of Surfing for God, will be our keynote speaker for the evening. 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. The night of the Gala will be filled with music, dinner, and a silent auction. For more information on Cusick, please visit www.restoringthesoul.com

This years Master of Ceremonies for the Stand for One Gala will Rebecca Bender founder of Rebecca Bender Ministries.  Bender was lured out of a small town in Oregon at the vulnerable age of 18. Forced into a life of sex trafficking, Bender was sold around the country for nearly six years. It was in a local church that Bender found healing and restoration. She is an award winning, internationally recognized speaker, author and Survivor Leader in the movement to eradicate modern day slavery. Last year, Rebecca and her husband founded Rebecca Bender Ministries, which brings a message of hope to the masses with a radical and fresh perspective on what it means to live in alignment with God’s will in a modern culture like today. Bender’s remarkable story of overcoming a life of sex trafficking has led her to dedicate her life to positively impacting the world. They live in the Pacific Northwest with their four lively daughters.
http://www.rebeccabender.org/
 

 


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Caught: Sex Trafficked Boys & the Violent Cycle of Powerlessness

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Sexual violence against men and boys is a topic that is seldom discussed. Often we hear victims are women and children, and we assume that the children are girls and that males are the primary perpetrator. At Restore One, we seek to serve a population that is often unspoken for, sex trafficked and sexually exploited boys. The phrase, sex trafficked children, does not specify an exact gender or ethnic population. However, folks are always very surprised to hear that boys are sex trafficked and sexually exploited just like girls. You may ask, how are boys sold and where and who buys them?

The sexual exploitation of boys remains hidden. I’d go as far as to say it is an even more hushed crime than female sex trafficking. It is an immense moneymaker for those governing the trade. The buying and selling of boys for the purposes of sex are found throughout the United States both in the ritziest neighborhoods and poorest districts of the city. The research study The Commercial Exploitation of Children in New York City in 2008 estimates that as much as 50% of commercial sexually exploited children are males.

Regardless of the location or by which means the deed is done, one link remains true to every story I’ve witnessed or heard, the sexual violence against boys is directly linked to powerfully exploiting the powerless. While money is the blatant fuel behind the sex trafficking and sexual exploitation of boys, the cycle of powerlessness is what leaves boys vulnerable to violence. To explain the cycle of powerlessness in relationship to the sex trafficking and exploitation of boys, I created the story of Paul. Paul was inspired by my countless interactions with male survivors and the honor it’s been for me to hear their many stories. Thus, The story of Paul.

Paul is a teenage boy with a jaded history of sexual abuse, foster care, low self-esteem and parent maltreatment. He had no part in the choices that his parents, the state and others have made on his behalf that have caused him much harm and heartache at a young age of 15. Life has left him vulnerable and powerless. In the mist of his despair, he is sought out by a pimp and recruited into the life.

The men he is forced to service are men in power, patrol cops, wealthy business owners, a college football coach, politicians and even pastors. His pimp is part of a large criminal ring, and they traffick boys and girls in every state. If Paul were to run, he’d never really get out because they would find him and welcome him with a beating. His pimp tells him that since he’s had sex with men, he’s not good for nothing but turning tricks.

One night during a large undercover rescue operation, Paul was found along with other children who’ve been sex trafficked. When the agents see Paul they are stunned. When he was first interviewed, they were testing him to see if he was a trafficker but after some probing they saw that he was a victim. Determining this though was not much help because there were no services specifically for boys who’ve been sex trafficked. Law enforcement did their best and referred him to the Department of Social Services, and he was then placed in a foster care home. Within a few weeks Paul is groped by one of the older kids in the home and he immediately remembered the words of his pimp, “You ain’t good for nothing but turning tricks.”

In a state of frustration, Paul believed the haunting words of his pimp, ran away and went back into the life.

Unfortunately Paul is the story of many boys.  Boys find when seeking services or wanting out of the life that their power is rendered and immobilized when service care providers refuse to provide proper services due to gender. With no services specific to meet their fragile needs, there is little hope for boys to exit the life. A victim of violence again is left powerless and the cycle continues.

I’ve had countless conversations with community members advising me to focus on women and girls and that the community is not ready to deal with sex trafficked boys. When it comes to the topic of male victimization, our culture demands we look the other way. Direct services for victims of sexual violence are harshly female centered with few gateways for males.  The Department of State claims that the often hidden crime of sex trafficking boys remains under wraps largely due to the cultural climate and taboos around the practice. I’ve found that the majority of Americans want to believe two things about the sex trafficking of men and boys: 1) Men and boys always have the power to get out, therefore they are not considered victims; 2) Men and boys are not in need of the same victim services that are offered to women and girls. However, I believe with an able body and willing heart, the story of Paul can change and so can these taboos around the trafficking of males. Males, who are victims of sexual violence such as sex trafficking and sexual exploitation, need you to advocate on their behalf by being a voice. I charge you to speak up and to do your part to begin addressing the gap in victim services for males within your own community. Remember, the cycle of powerlessness can end with just your voice.

This blog is dedicated to the work of IJM and the Locust Effect. Thank you IJM for reaching out to us and including us in this initiative.

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