“There’s a piece missing- that’s where Two Wings comes in.” -Alexis Moreno, Program Development Director
According to the United States Department of Justice’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, the average age of entry into the commercial sex industry in the U.S. is 12 years old. As startling as this is, the issue continues to be deprived of the attention it requires in order to eradicate the abuse that surrounds this crime. These exploitations are happening in our cities and compel the awareness of everyday citizens.
On Saturday June 29th, the new volunteers and interns of Two Wings gathered in a creative space where Program Development Director Alexis Moreno, and CEO Elena Bondar gave a shockingly informative description of what it means to be a survivor of sex trafficking in Los Angeles. We learned what actions people like us could take to help, and how every little thing can make a difference. As the workshop progressed, it became evident that the rescue of these women was only the first step to their liberation- much further assistance would be needed.
Often times these survivors are rescued by law enforcement agencies and taken to a shelter where they receive therapy, and along with Two Wings are taught the necessary tools to live a stable and independent life. “There’s a piece missing- that’s where Two Wings comes in,” explained Alexis Moreno when discussing that it is at this point that our mentors are introduced to these women. Our Two Wings team members are responsible aiding these courageous women in their endeavors to be in control of their minds, bodies, and souls.
As defined by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA), sex trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for a commercial sex act. Unfortunately, this is far more common than one may assume. The National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Thrownaway Children (NISMART) estimates that “1.6 million children run away from home in the U.S. One in three teens will be recruited by a pimp within 48 hours of leaving home and becoming homeless.” So why is this issue often neglected? Determining an answer is not as easy as one may hope, but Two Wings strives to change this. Our organization needs help from people like you in order to raise awareness. If you’re anything like me, you had no idea that these situations were so prominent and close to home. But now you do, and there are endless ways of getting involved and potentially saving a life.
The Two Wings workshop was a perfect way to get educated with others like myself who have a heart for helping. From the great company, and engaging conversation to the relaxed atmosphere, this became an experience that will impact me for years to come. Now it’s your turn! Look for future training dates to be announced.
by Taylor Torregano