MODERN DAY SLAVERY still exists. 

Today, thousands of men, women and children are forced to endure unspeakable abuses by means of commercial exploitation. The overwhelming percentage of victims, mostly women and children, are trafficked into the commercial sex industry.

COMPASSION FIRST exists to end this slavery. But we cannot simply eradicate this crime. As part of a worldwide movement working to end modern-day slavery, we must also care for it's survivors. 

At Compassion First, we provide holistic aftercare for trafficking survivors, partnered law enforcement training, safe pathways for survivors through the court system, and financial collaboration for rescues of trafficked persons. We are specifically committed to serving in countries that do not already have a strong, western non-governmental organization (NGO) presence in the area of anti-trafficking work. Our flagship operation is in the nation of Indonesia. 

We employ western providers, alongside indigenous staff, working with survivors in our care; we value and pursue genuine and supportive partnerships with like-minded non-profit organizations and law enforcement agencies. 

 

WE ARE COMPASSION FIRST, and these are our initiatives:

AFTERCARE: Residential and Community-Based

We partner with each survivor as she progresses through our comprehensive aftercare program. Compassion First's (CF) primary aftercare facility is Sarah's House--a joy-filled and loving home environment with exceptional staff who provide complete care where a child’s physical, emotional, and spiritual needs are met. Sarah’s House is an all-in-one, 24-hour, secure care facility where meaningful, trauma-specific therapeutic care from qualified Indonesian and Expatriate staff is made available. CF also is a licensed education provider; survivors not only have the opportunity to re-engage their education, but are able to pursue graduation and progress to higher education opportunities.

Many of the services available at Sarah’s House are also available to survivors who are able to return home after rescue, as well as those who reintegrate after a season in residential aftercare. These services are available through the CF Residential and Community-Based Aftercare Program.

LEGAL ADVOCACY

Every child in Compassion First’s care has been legally rescued by local police. Most trafficking survivors will be called to testify against their traffickers in court. Each of the children in our care are provided with their own attorney who assists and protects her throughout the process. A court day is a well-prepared event for staff and survivors alike. Prior to testifying, a survivor has had a slow but steady stream of meetings with her counselor, attorney, prosecutor, and security staff. Each survivor goes into court with the best possible preparation. Through an agreement with the courts, a survivor is accompanied by a House Mom who sits beside her in the witness chair. Throughout the entire legal process, CF partners with law enforcement and prosecution to keep survivors safe and comforted.

We are seeing genuine progress in the prosecution of those committing human trafficking crimes.

PARTNERED PEER-TO-PEER LAW ENFORCEMENT TRAINING

In partnership with Portland, Oregon's Police Bureau, Compassion First conducts peer-to-peer best practices conferences for local Indonesian law enforcement. These conferences are joined by representatives from the United States Department of State, Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Department of Homeland Security. In separate and conjoined efforts with police, prosecutors, and judges, CF conferences have been a success on several fronts: Front-line service providers have better tools for victim identification and victim sensitivity; there has been an increase in the launch of investigations and rescues; and greater inter-agency cooperation through the court process has been facilitated.

CASE-MANAGED INTERVENTION SUPPORT

CF does not actively participate in any investigation or intervention activity. We work in partnership with local police departments charged with the protection of women and children (PPA units). In most cases, when reports of a sexually exploited child are made, a PPA unit will not have the ability to respond due to a lack of funding. CF case-manages and coordinates the funding of rescues through a network of resources, including the COMPASSION FIRST RESCUE FUND. Additionally, CF social workers have opportunity to begin their work with families ahead of a child's rescue. 

HOLY NIGHT: Light for Cemetery Prostitutes

We are exceptionally focused on our core mission to provide life-giving solutions to underage survivors of sex trafficking. At the same time, we feel very honored to have been invited and welcomed by a beautiful community living in the heart of a cemetery in Surabaya, Indonesia.

Women of all ages fill dark corners of Yellow Flower Cemetery. By day, they clean the grounds. By night, they sell their bodies for as little as $0.75 USD among grave and stone sarcophagi. 

Some of these women are yesterday's child trafficking victims. They are the poorest of the poor without reservations, eager for help and ready for their seat at the table. We feel very privileged to be a part of their lives.

"The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine." Isaiah 9:2

For more information about this campaign, visit the Holy Night Page.