BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT)– The WellHouse in Birmingham serves as a place of restoration and recovery for women survivors of sex trafficking.
Although the program’s main purpose is to repair the detrimental effects that sex trafficking has already made on woman, they also strive to educate and prevent.
As this month is Human Trafficking Prevention Month, WellHouse staff spoke out about their efforts to educate and provide the information needed to prevent the horrific act of sex trafficking.
“We get to know their story so we are able to communicate that information and collect that data and give it to other organizations and law enforcement and help them understand all the ways that sex trafficking may happen,” WellHouse spokesperson Holly Bunn explained.
Bunn explained that acts of kidnapping or sudden trafficking are often not the cause of it in the first place. An unstable relationship can be at the root of sex trafficking.
“This does not happen by abduction and kidnapping as much as people think it does. It all evolves from a romantic relationship where one party has power,” Bunn said.
Bunn went on to explain there are other vulnerabilities that may be at the root of the issue as well.
“There really is not one vulnerability over another. It’s homelessness or bad home life and a lot of time drug and alcohol addiction is linked to this,” Bunn said.
Although these are all factors, the WellHouse shares the message that human trafficking can happen to absolutely anyone and being aware of that is always the first step.
“Understanding the progression of how it works is important in that it truly can happen to any one of us. It’s important to keep those vulnerabilities in check,” Bunn said.
The WellHouse continues to be a safe place for those who have experienced trafficking and an educating source for everyone trying to prevent it. They encourage everyone to be aware, alert and seek help if need be.