Dawn’s Place provides safe haven for abused

By Jen Wozniak
November 5, 2009

Sex trafficking rings have been identified right here in Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs. The Coalition for Peace and Justice in Philadelphia created a committee on human trafficking that educated individuals about this horrifying issue.

This committee wanted to do more than just talking about the issue. They wanted to be hands-on. They worked with religious sisters, Catholic Social Services and lawyers who worked with women trafficked for sex work in the Philadelphia area.

The result was Dawn’s Place, a safe place for women who have been affected by sexual exploitation, to heal and recover from the abuses they have suffered in order to create a new life.

Dawn’s Place has dealt with 10 women since April, and has the capacity to house nine women at a time. It is currently home to two women arrested for prostitution and two women trafficked from Latin America.

“These are women that want to get out of that life. We assist them with opportunities and programs to help them leave that life, which includes helping with benefits, the English language for international women, health concerns, contacting family and finding job placement, but in the meantime the most important thing is providing a safe, caring place,” Sr. Terry Shields, board member, treasurer and founding member of Dawn’s Place, said.

Dawn’s Place is the only known residence for trafficked women on the East Coast. If interested in volunteering at Dawn’s Place, contact Mary Laver at mlaver@cabrini.edu.

Jen Wozniak

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