BIDDEFORD — Carey Nason, the executive director of St. André Home, will host a free, virtual event entitled “Beauty Remains: The Truth on Trafficking” on Wednesday, July 27, from 7-9 p.m. to help participants 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 is at an all-time high and is found in every state in the U.S. To register for the session, click here.
“Hundreds of Maine girls and women, as young as 14 years old, are trafficked for commercial sex each year. Traffickers are known to exploit vulnerabilities and target teens who have run away, or people who are trying to make a better life for themselves but simply don’t have everything they need,” said Carey. “By raising awareness of the crime of human trafficking, erasing that stigma that victims often experience, and by reaching out to the survivors of trafficking, we can help survivors move forward in their lives, heal, and rebuild life on their own terms.”
The flagship program of St. André Home is CourageLIVES which provides support and services for people impacted by human trafficking and exploitation. Based in the Biddeford area, but serving over 125 women across Maine, CourageLIVES offers food, clothing, shelter, and counseling for residents; a safe house for women survivors; and an outreach program. The program serves women and families in many Maine counties including Penobscot, Cumberland, Aroostook, York, and Franklin.
“We all have a part to play in this. We can no longer pretend this is an overseas issue,” said Carey. “We can’t pretend that our children are not in one way or another impacted by this atrocity. It is time to get serious about trafficking and rise to the occasion of doing our part.”
“The diocese is so grateful for programs like CourageLIVES and its mission of serving women who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and need a safe secure place to heal and rebuild,” said Bishop Robert Deeley. “The program also raises awareness and helps victims and survivors of human trafficking find freedom, waiting arms to offer safety, an understanding of their intrinsic value, and a path to healing.”
For more information about the program or the event, visit www.couragelivesme.org or call 207-282-3351.