BEAUTY FROM ASHES' VIDEO: Check our latest video by CLICKING HERE.
STRIP CLUB OUTREACH REPORT: April's Strip Club OutREACH was a success from start to finish! We are thrilled to welcome new volunteers to the gift assembly team as well as the comfort meal preparation team! A team leader began the outREACH by sharing a devotion on how we can come as we are instead of trying to fix ourselves before surrendering to Christ. It set the pace for the evening outREACH. Once again we were blessed by Erin Pruett, Co-chair of the Defender Foundation, based out of Jacksonville, joining us. Thanks to our team for their willingness to comfort others with the comfort that was once given them! We are especially grateful for the openness many women had in sharing their stories of hurt and the hope they allowed us to share with them. We are so blessed to be a part of their lives and we LOVE seeing them take steps to build a life they dream of by committing to counseling. To see pictures of the outREACH CLICK HERE.
RESIDENTIAL PROGRAM PLACEMENT: One of the services we offer is coordinating residential placement and we are pleased to share that 2 survivors of sex trafficking took a huge step of faith and entered residential recovery programs this month. Not only do we continue to provide our clients support, but we provide consulting for these programs to assist them in application of effective treatment modalities. Please keep them in prayer as they commit to their healing and restoration process.
BREAKING FREE: A support and life skills group, Breaking Free, is being held at Grace Church in Fort Myers, on Tuesdays from 7-8:30pm. If you or someone you know is in need of a safe place to begin working towards freedom from sex work, the adult entertainment industry, or sexual exploitation please CLICK HERE and find out more about this closed women's group. Confidentiality guaranteed.
STAFF SEARCH: We are seeking an administrative assistant/secretary. Position is above minimum wage and up to 30 hours a week. For more information, CLICK HERE
BLOGS: To read the final reflection blogs of our spring semester interns and volunteers, CLICK HERE.
NATIONAL SEX INDUSTRY OUTREACH & AFTERCARE TRAINING: Our next training is July 26-28th at Barry University in Fort Myers, FL. Seats are filling fast! Registration is required. Limited Seating. For more information and to register, CLICK HERE or call (239) 939-9218.
Since 2005, Beauty From Ashes has been providing trainings nationally, presenting our unique model of outREACH and afterCARE. Due to the DHS Capacity Building Grant we were able to improve the training significantly. Developed in collaboration with overcomers, our victim/survivor/overcomer centered training modules include:
Beauty From Ashes Structure and Operations Model
Human Trafficking and Sex Trafficking
Who are the Victims?
Bias and Prejudice
Mental Health Challenges
Strip Club/Sex Industry OutREACH
Building Your Team
Common Issues of Sex Workers and Boundaries
Health Care Workers
The Traffickers and Facilitators
Additionally, our founder, Julie Shematz, transitioning into her final year at at Florida Gulf Coast University in the mental health counseling Master's program, just completed a research paper and presentation on Females in Sex Trafficking: Drug Dependence and Treatment. We'll be adding this to our training curriculum and individualized presentations. Here is the abstract of the paper:
This paper explores the framework of females involved in sex trafficking and how drug dependency is used in recruitment and control, the prevalence of co-occurring disorders and addictions, and effective treatment modalities. The devastating impacts on females who have been forced to prostitute and repeatedly sexually traumatized are profound. Treatment, in order to be effective, needs to address drug dependency and co-occurring disorders, client’s strengths, and be from a holistic perspective. Community collaboration is essential to meeting the complex needs of victims. In order to combat this national crisis, the field of psychology, health care, service providers, legal professionals, law enforcement, and community leaders need to work collectively to identify victims and provide them with the critical, comprehensive and seamless recovery services of which they are in desperate need.
PAST EVENTS: On March 23rd on Sanibel Island, Florida, Julie spoke at Sanibel Community Church's annual mission's conference and the team participated in events throughout the week. Community members were educated about sex trafficking and the BFA team was encouraged and blessed throughout the entire conference. CLICK HERE for pictures of the event. Julie also shared her testimony in Fort Myers, Florida, at the Pure Passion event, sponsored by Awaken Ministries. Awareness was raised, relationships built, and committed volunteers stepped up to join the BFA FREEdom™ Team. One attendee was able to put her newfound knowledge to use just days after the event. She witnessed suspicious activity at her child's bus stop and was able to intervene in the life of a teenage girl! Like our founder always says "awareness leads to prevention, intervention, and restoration." Additionally, we partnered with FGCU's police department and presented a workshop for college students at FGCU on Sex Trafficking: Romance, Red Flags & Self Defense.
UPCOMING AWARENESS/EDUCATION EVENTS: Nurses play a crucial role in combating human trafficking as they are at the front line for identifying victims who seek medical attention. It is critical that nurses and others in the health care profession become trained regarding the warning signs. For this reason we are elated to announce that Julie will be presenting at the South West Florida Nurses Association on May 21st in Naples, Florida. Other events in the month of May include Lifeline Family Center, a local program for teenage mothers, where we will be presenting on Staying Safe from Sexual Exploitation. Additionally, we will again be participating in a documentary on sex trafficking. This time in collaboration with Miami University. For a complete schedule of events,