Reformation 500

The Fight Against Human Trafficking

“You will do anything to feel like his everything. And he promises you everything. And the things he convinces you to do, they don’t seem that bad if afterwards he shows you how much he loves you…. And as long as your profits meet expectations, you will have what you’ve wanted
your whole life—love.”

* From the spoken word poem, “America’s Daughters” available on

The Day of Prayer for Victims of Human Trafficking will be held on Sunday, September 24. On that day, Salvationists worldwide are called to help break the “Chains of Bondage” with fervent prayer.

Here in the northeast United States, those chains are particularly heavy. Of the top 11 states where sexual trafficking is at its worst, several of them are in the Army’s Eastern Territory.

We’ve highlighted here some of the people and programs involved in the Salvation Army’s effort to combat this problem. You’ll read how survivors are being physically redeemed, emotionally restored, and spiritually transformed so they may live normal, productive lives.

For these related stories, click on the following titles:

The Daughters of God

Captain Deborah Coolidge takes the fight against human trafficking into strip clubs.

Doors to Salvation

The Salvation Army in Philadelphia has a dual approach to helping trafficking survivors.

Table The Healing Power of Restoration Ink

A ministry in Maine is helping victims of prostitution and human trafficking cover up the marks of their past.

She Is My Friend

I saw them walking the street outside the corps,
getting in and out of cars.
I used to wonder why anyone would become a prostitute.
What would lead someone into that type of life?

And I realized no one chooses this life.
She’s in this life because she has no choices.
She’s been manipulated, tricked, coerced.
She is vulnerable.
The circumstances of her life pushed her in that direction.


Now, she’s in the life. She’s trapped, she’s addicted, she’s afraid.
She has learned to do whatever she has to do to survive.
She is called a “prostitute.”
But she is so much more than what that label implies.

SHE IS a sister, a mother, a daughter.
SHE IS a student, an athlete, a musician, an artist.
SHE IS hungry, addicted, afraid, vulnerable, lonely.
SHE IS black, white, Hispanic, Muslim, a U.S. citizen,
an immigrant, a teenager, a grown up—


She’s been in jail, in detox, in rehab, a hospital, a shelter, a church.
She is surprised that someone would want to talk to her,
give her a gift,
learn her name.

She is wary, reluctant, curious, hopeful.
She’s a good mother who would do anything for her child.
She has a robust, infectious laugh.
She likes frozen mocha lattes and Jodi Picoult novels.
She plays saxophone, runs track, loves board games.

SHE IS beautiful, funny, brave, strong, determined, resilient.

SHE IS a survivor.

SHE IS a child of God.

SHE IS my friend.

–Lt. Colonel Patricia LaBossiere

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