ABOUT: Compassion First
Our Mission: Provide life-giving solutions to survivors of child sex-trafficking.
Founded in 2007, Compassion First is a 501(c)3 Christian relief organization providing life-giving solutions to child sex-trafficking survivors.
We are thankful to serve in this field and are specifically motivated to work amid high-need regions, absent of other anti-trafficking organizations’ activities.
We provide holistic care and comprehensive support services for child trafficking survivors while actively participating, with others, in the broader effort to fight and end child trafficking.
We actively serve in the following ways:
RESIDENTIAL AND COMMUNITY-BASED AFTERCARE
We partner with each survivor as she progresses toward her greatest potential future. Compassion First (CF) aftercare facilities are joy-filled and loving home environments with exceptional staff who provide complete care where a child’s physical, emotional, and spiritual needs are met. Ruth’s House, our flagship home, is an all-in-one, 24-hour, secure care facility where survivors receive meaningful, trauma-specific therapeutic care from qualified Indonesian social workers. CF also is a licensed education provider; survivors not only have the opportunity to re-engage their education, but also they are able to pursue graduation and progress to higher education opportunities.
Many of the services available at Ruth’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 our residential aftercare. These services are available through the CF Residential and Community-Based Aftercare Program.
Every child in Compassion First’s care has been legally rescued by local police, and 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, the prosecutor, and security staff. To the best of our ability, CF prepares her. In court, she also can be accompanied by a House Mom from Sarah’s House who will sit beside her in the witness chair. Throughout the entire legal process, CF partners with law enforcement and prosecution to keep survivors safe.
PARTNERED PEER-TO-PEER LAW ENFORCEMENT TRAINING
In partnership with the Portland Police Bureau and joined by the United States Department of State, Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Department of Homeland Security, Compassion First conducts best practices conferences for local Indonesian law enforcement units. In separate and conjoined efforts with police, prosecutors, and judges, CF conferences have been a success on several fronts: frontline service providers have better tools for victim identification and victim sensitivity, an increase in the launch of rescues, and greater interagency 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 (known as PPA units). In most cases, when reports of child prostitution are made, a PPA unit will not have the ability to respond due to a lack of funding. CF case-manages rescues through a network of resources, including the COMPASSION FIRST RESCUE FUND.
HOLY NIGHT: THE CEMETERY BROTHELS
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 privileged to serve a precious population that has survived the horrors of prostitution for a long time.
At night, in the centers of the larger cities, cemeteries become makeshift brothels. Aged-out prostitutes, many of them long ago kicked to the curb from the clubs in the “Dolly” Districts, will sell sex for pennies amongst the graves. The numbers of these women is actually greater than one can imagine and their stories are varied, all heartbreaking. Some women are younger but most are well into middle age and beyond. All are accustomed to severe poverty. Among them are nearly as many children as sex workers.
We began this outreach with an annual Christmas party for the cemetery women and their children in January 2013. In 2014, we will open a small office to coordinate partnered micro-finance solutions and education sponsorships for the children.
For all of those whom we have the opportunity to serve and support, we are humbled to do so. We believe every person is of indescribable value. They are bearers of the image of God and worth everything that we are capable of giving. As we serve them, we are changed.
BECOME AN EVERYDAY ADVOCATE
Compassion First relies on volunteer advocates worldwide as we empower trafficking survivors, equip law enforcement professionals, and serve sexually exploited children. As a supporter, you are an Everyday Advocate. Through your lifestyle, you commit to display compassion, choose mercy, and call for the end of sexual slavery. As you speak about Compassion First’s care, you shed light into darkness and you bring hope. Your voice matters. We need you to stand beside us.
At Compassion First, we join together on a mission to end sexual slavery and provide long-term solutions to those who have experienced the horror of trafficking firsthand. We are motivated by mercy, and with compassion first. Join us, and become an Everyday Advocate.